Mitt Romney turned in a polished performance in last night’s presidential debate – and revealed himself to be an accomplished and unapologetic liar. In an evening where he sought to slice and dice the president with statistics, Romney baldly misrepresented his own policy prescriptions, made up numbers to fit his attacks and buried clear contrasts with the president under a heaping pile of horseshit.
Here are mendacious Mitt’s five most outrageous statements:
1. “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut.” Romney flatly lied about the cost of his proposal to cut income-tax rates across the board by another 20 percent (undercutting even the low rates of the Bush tax cuts). Independent economists at the Tax Policy Center have shown that the price tag for those cuts is $360 billion in the first year, a cost that extrapolates to $5 trillion over a decade.
2. “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.” Romney has claimed that he will pay for his tax cuts by closing a variety of loopholes and deductions. The factual problem? Romney hasn’t named a single loophole he’s willing to close; worse, there’s no way to offset $5 trillion in tax cuts even if you get rid of the entire universe of deductions for the wealthy that Romney has not put off the table (like the carried interest loophole or the 15 percent capital gains rate.) The Tax Policy Center report concludes that Romney’s proposal would create a “net tax cut for high-income tax payers and a net tax increase for lower- and or middle-income taxpayers.” Moreover, some of Romney’s tax cuts are micro-targeted at American dynasties, particularly his proposal to eliminate the estate tax, which would reduce his own sons’ tax burden by tens of millions of dollars.