Obama: Paul Ryan wants Romney to pay almost no taxes

By Jonathan Terbush
Sunday, August 19, 2012 11:19 EDT
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President Obama mocked the tax plans of both Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at a campaign rally in New Hampshire Saturday, saying that his GOP rivals were offering “snake oil” policies that would hurt the middle class while serving as a windfall for rich folks like Romney.

“The centerpiece of Governor Romney’s entire economic plan is a new five trillion dollar tax cut, a lot of it going to folks like me, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans,” Obama said. “His new running mate, Congressman Ryan, put forward a plan that would let Governor Romney pay less than one percent in taxes each year. ”

“That’s a pretty good deal,” Obama joked.

Obama’s attack reflected the findings of several media outlets that, after analyzing Mitt Romney’s 2010 taxes—the only year for which he’s released complete information—calculated that he would have paid an effective tax rate under one percent had Ryan’s proposed tax code changes gone into effect. Among those changes is the proposed elimination of the capital gains tax which, along with other tax cuts, would have resulted in Romney paying under around 0.82 percent as opposed to the 13.9 percent rate he paid that year.

In attacking the tax plan, Obama sought to cast the election as a choice between strengthening the middle class or sticking them with the tab for millionaires’ tax breaks. He also went directly after Romney, accusing him of offering policies that would set the nation back rather than propel it out of a an economic rut.

“We have tried this kind of trickle-down snake oil before. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now,” Obama said. “It’s not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to reduce our deficit. It’s not a plan to strengthen our economy. It’s not a plan to strengthen the middle class. It won’t work. We’re moving forward, they want to take us backward.”

Watch video of Obama’s stump speech below:

Jonathan Terbush
Jonathan Terbush
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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