During an appearance on CNN’s Starting Point on Tuesday, Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer refused to condemn the deficit increase that would result from Mitt Romney’s proposed tax cuts, suggesting that the group is more concerned about acting as a surrogate for the Republican candidate than promoting fiscal responsibility.
Romney would extend all of the Bush tax cuts, reduce all individual income tax rates by an additional 20 percent, lower the corporate rate from the current 35 percent to 25 percent, eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, the estate tax, Obamacare’s Medicare taxes on high-income individuals, and taxes on investment income for households under certain income levels. The former governor claims that he could recoup the lost revenue by closing unspecified “tax expenditures,” though economists predict that he would have to dramatically slash spending to pay for his tax cuts or add trillions to the national deficit.
But Kremer, one of the Tea Party’s most prominent advocates for lowering the debt, seemed unconcerned about Romney’s plan and characterized any discussion of how his $5 trillion in tax cuts would increase the deficit as “class warfare”:
MICHAEL NUTTER (MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA): Let’s talk about the $5 trillion that Mr. Romney is going to add on to the debt by giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. You must be against that.
KREMER: I think that — I mean, at the end of the day, it’s this class warfare that the administration and the left wants to play. It’s pitting the rich against the middle class. [...]
NUTTER: Mr. Romney says he wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, which will cost $5 trillion in debt. You must be against that, right? Because you’re against spending and you’re against debt?
KREMER: I am against spending and I’m against increasing our debt and our deficit. And this president ran and he said he would cut our deficit in half by the first term. and if not, it would be a one-term proposition. And he hasn’t done that.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates Romney’s plan “would reduce revenue by $480 billion below current policy in 2015, or $4.9 trillion over 10 years.”