Obama ad on Romney’s tax plan: he pays less, you pay more
President Barack Obama’s campaign on Thursday released a new television advertisement hitting Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for paying what it considers to be a low tax rate in 2010 and for pushing a tax plan that could most benefit Americans earning more than $1 million per year.
The 30-second spot features a montage of ostensibly “average” Americans — one comparing prices at the grocery store, another scrutinizing a work report, another sifting through bills at the kitchen table — and then flashes to a grinning Romney.
“You work hard, stretch every penny, but chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him,” the narrator says, referring to Romney’s 2010 tax rate of 13.9 percent and 2011 estimated tax rate of 15.4 percent.
Romney, who made his fortune founding and growing Bain Capital, released tax information from 2010 and a draft of his 2011 returns after being chided by Republican rivals during the contentious Republican primary. The Obama campaign has since taken up the issue in television ads and messaging.
In response, Romney has said that Obama demonizes capitalist success and wants to divert attention away from the sluggish American economy and roughly 8 percent unemployment — seen as the Democrat’s chief weaknesses as he runs for re-election in November. Releasing more returns would just provide more fodder for distorted attacks, Romney has said.
In that vein, Romney’s campaign again attacked Obama on Thursday in an online video for comments he made about government’s role in the private sector that Romney says is anti-business.
“We need a president who understands business, who understands what it means to make payroll …. to grow a business and to be successful,” the owner of an office products company in Virginia says in the ad, adding that she was “insulted” by Obama’s comments.
Obama’s advertisement, which will run in battleground states such as Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, came after the non-partisan Tax Policy Center made a splash with a report it released on Wednesday showing that Romney’s tax plan would most benefit America’s wealthiest taxpayers. The Romney campaign dismissed the analysis as inaccurate and biased.
Although Romney’s plan would cut the tax rate for all Americans, to pay for those cuts Romney would also have to cut popular tax breaks — such as a mortgage interest deduction and a deduction for health insurance plans provided by employers — which would disproportionately hurt middle-class Americans, the TPC said.
Photo credit: President Obama waves as he walks past the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington after a one-day trip to Ohio, August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas