Interviewed on CNN's "Starting Point," Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi said that Romney's plan to lower taxes across the board by 20 percent and make it revenue neutral by closing loopholes for the wealthy has one problem: "the arithmetic doesn't work." That's the same charge we heard from Obama and Biden in the debates. Now listen to a former McCain campaign adviser make the same point:
ZANDI: Yeah, I think the Tax Policy Center study is the definitive study. They’re non-partisan, they’re very good. They say given the numbers that they’ve been provided by the Romney campaign, no, it will not add up. Now, the Romney campaign could adjust their plan. They could say okay I’m not going to lower tax rates as much as I’m saying right now and they could make the arithmetic work. But under the current plan, with the current numbers, no it doesn’t. I’ll say one other thing, though. I think it is important that we do focus on the so-called tax expenditures in the tax code. Those are the deductions, and credits, and loopholes in the code. We need to reduce those, because if we do we’re going to make the tax system fairer, easier to understand and ultimately lead to stronger growth. So that’s the right place to focus. But, no, the arithmetic doesn’t work as it is right now.
The Romney campaign has consistently refused to name the tax loopholes it would close. A Brookings Institution report found that the Romney plan would raise taxes on middle class families by over $2,000.