How they see it

Mitt Romney's tax plans as told in a debate

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 October, 2012, 2:09am

1. The New York Times

The biggest beneficiaries of government largesse are … very rich individuals who have figured out how to exploit the country's poorly written tax code. The group's most prominent member is Romney himself, whose astonishingly low tax rates are made possible by finding and using every flaw in the code. Romney wants to eliminate the estate tax, even though it applies only to estates of more than US$10 million. That would cost the treasury more than US$1 trillion over a decade, but it would be a huge benefit for Romney's heirs. The estate tax increases equality of opportunity. … Romney's plan to get rid of it is one of the sharpest illustrations of his distance from ordinary Americans. New York


2. The Washington Post

Romney has proposed lowering income tax rates, abolishing the estate tax and making other changes that would cost US$5 trillion over 10 years. When he says he has no such plan, he means that he intends to make up for the lost revenue by closing loopholes. But even if you close every rich person's loophole, you don't save enough. The danger is that Romney and the US Congress would enact the popular tax cut and then rely on wishful thinking. ("We keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.") And here's the really scary part: Romney's plan is irresponsible, even if he could pay for it. … The country cannot solve its fiscal problem without raising revenue. Washington


3. Financial Times

With barely a month to go, the US president needs to lay out a much stronger case for his re-election. After Denver, he may no longer be able to rely on Romney to do that for him. The Republican nominee set out a plan to cut taxes on the middle class and balance the federal budget without apparently requiring sacrifice from anyone - barring a dig at the minutely funded Public Broadcasting Service. It went unchallenged from Obama. Romney appeared belatedly to be tacking to the centre. All of a sudden, the Romney campaign is fired up. The race will probably lurch again. Odd though it sounds at this late stage, Obama must seize every remaining opportunity to make a positive case for his presidency. London