David Leonhardt wrongly told readers that:
"Mr. Ryan’s plan would cut the top rate to 25 percent, from 35 percent, and still leave overall tax collection roughly where it has been, by eliminating tax breaks."
Ryan claims that his plan would leave tax collections roughly where it has been, however he has never identified a set of tax breaks that he is prepared to eliminate to accomplish this result. In fact, Ryan has explicitly ruled out two touching of the biggest tax breaks, which largely affect the rich, the special treatment of capital gains and dividends.
To get anywhere close to revenue neutrality without touching these tax breaks would require eliminating almost all the tax breaks that benefit the middle class, like the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for employer provided health care, and the deduction for charitable contributions. This would amount to a massive transfer from the middle class to the wealthy.
While Leonhardt cites a poll showing widespread support for tax reform, it is unlikely that many people would support a reform that meant that they paid thousands more in taxes each year so that Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet could pay less. This outcome is only plausible if the media do not accurately inform voters about what is at stake.
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