Obama Attacks Romney Over Tax Policies

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) – In his ninth trip to the battleground state of Ohio this year, President Barack Obama targeted Mitt Romney in a speech Wednesday, hitting the merits of his Republican challenger's tax proposals.

"Here's the thing, he's not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids' education. He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut," Obama said at a campaign event in Mansfield.

Romney's tax plan includes a variety of proposals that primarily emphasize reducing rates and maintaining tax breaks for savings and investment.

Specifically, he calls for the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, reducing the individual income tax rate by 20%, eliminating the estate tax, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and reducing the corporate income tax.

The principle behind the policy butts heads with that of Obama, who calls for higher tax rates on the wealthy and urges everyone to pay their "fair share."

"We do not need more tax cuts for folks who are already doing well," Obama said. "We need tax cuts for working families."

Obama pointed to a new report by the Tax Policy Center, which concludes that a plan similar to Romney's proposal would give large tax cuts to high-income households while increasing the tax burdens on low to middle income taxpayers.

The study did not score Romney's plan directly, saying his plan lacks sufficient details to do so. Rather, the center said it selected Romney's plan because it represented a number of popular plans frequently put forward by the GOP.

"They found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, then he'd have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on," Obama said, listing mortgage deductions and health care deductions as examples. "That means the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000."

Obama further argued that only the rich would benefit under a Romney presidency.

"Folks making more than $3 million, the top one-tenth of one percent, would get a tax cut of a quarter of a million a year. Think about that," Obama said.

Hitting back, Romney's campaign took issue with the study and blamed the president's economic policies for the still-lagging economy, saying Obama would simply push for "more of the same" during a second term.

"President Obama continues to tout liberal studies calling for more tax hikes and more government spending," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams in a statement.

He continued: "We've been down that road before – and it's led us to 41 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. It's clear that the only plan President Obama has is more of the same. Mitt Romney believes that lower tax rates and less government will jump-start the economy and create jobs."

Obama’s speech Wednesday mirrors attack lines his campaign launched in a new television ad released, in which Team Obama blasted Romney for backing a tax plan that would raise the deficit by “trillions.”

For his part, Obama called for the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making $250,000 and for individuals making $200,00 or less per year–proposals, he said, that would affect 98% of Americans.

"If you're fortunate enough to be in the other 2% of Americans, all we're asking you to do is contribute a little more," Obama said. "This includes me by the way."

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