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Will we ignore the Ryan plan?

By Kay Bell ·
Monday, August 13, 2012
Posted: 1 pm ET

Pay no attention to that House Budget Committee plan behind the curtain.

That's what the Mitt Romney campaign, conjuring up its best Wizard of Oz voice, is telling us. But we don't need a Toto to pull back the drapes. The financial ideas of Romney's newly named running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are already well-known. They're also equally hated and adored depending on your political position as to the appropriate role of the federal government.

There are a couple of reasons why Romney is trying to distance himself from the Ryan plan, known as the not-so-modestly named "A Roadmap for America's Future."

First, Romney wants to make sure everyone knows he, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, is in charge, not this so-called Republican Party Young Gun. It's all well and good to add some pizazz to a campaign that seemed to be faltering, at least in the polls, but it's another to have the guy who would occupy the Oval Office to be outshone by the potential vice president. Just look at what happened to Sen. John McCain when Sarah Palin joined his ticket.

But more problematic than ending up in Ryan's star power shadow is the very real possibility that congressman's budget and tax road map will detour us from  Romney's own fiscal proposals.

Romney vs. Ryan on taxes

Romney isn't suggesting big changes to the current tax code. He'd keep the current six individual income tax rates but reduce each by 20 percent. He'd also make the investment taxes less, well, taxing but they would remain on the books.

Ryan, however, wants to reduce our tax rates to just two, 10 percent and 25 percent. He'd also do away with a lot of tax preference items, those deductions and credits and income exclusions now used to lower tax bills, and replace them with a larger standard deduction and personal exemption amounts.

Ryan's individual tax plan also proposes changes to the way investments are taxed.

Right now, certain dividends and capital gains are taxed at a maximum 15 percent rate. Ordinary interest earned on things such as certificates of deposit and similar savings vehicles is taxed at the account owner's ordinary income tax rate, which could be as high as 35 percent.

Ryan would make all investment earnings tax-free regardless of the taxpayer's income. His, and possibly America's boss, would keep the capital gains and qualified dividends rate at 15 percent for folks making more than $200,000.

Why is Ryan's investment tax-elimination idea a problem for Romney? Because based on the two tax returns that Romney has released, all of his income has come from capital gains. And if he backs Ryan's proposals, Romney would owe no taxes.

Regardless of how much folks say the rich deserve their money, the idea that a really rich occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be paying nothing to the Internal Revenue Service, while the vast majority of us would be paying at least something, doesn't seem right.

So Romney is insisting that we ignore the previously published Ryan fiscal agenda. The veep will be following the presidential candidate's fiscal lead.

Yeah, like we believe that's going to happen!

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August 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Are they kidding with this article?? Why not slap a Obama sticker all over this website. Instead of pretending you are neutral & just interested in banking.

I just wrote to them & demanded to be unsubscribed ASAP -

August 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Bill, your comment that as a tax preparer the most obvious missstatement is "that most of us pay taxes" I've reread the article and the closest I can come to your stmt is "the idea that a really rich occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be paying nothing to the Internal Revenue Service, while the vast majority of us would be paying at least something, doesn't seem right.

Just who are you preparing taxes for that you have the knowledge to say it's untrue? Those without jobs? My tax returns show that I with a lower middle class income, pay a greater share of my income than Romney does and the republicans have a plan for him to pay less. Just because this article doesn't have your desired spin, you discredit it.

August 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Very interesting article, the most obvious miss information used however is the statement that "most of us pay taxes", as one who has done tax returns for several years, I can tell you frankly that is just not true. At least Ryan has the guts to put down in writing real details, not smoke and mirror Washington math.

August 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Thank heavens we occasionally get a fact based, neutral website as evidenced by Kay Bell"s article instead of the blather and spin the media loves to cite.

Fred Dykhuizen
August 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

WOW! The far left media demagogues have even found their way into this (before now) presumed to be informative site. I agree with one of the other replies ...... Why didn't you state the given fact that OBAMACARE has already taken $763 BILLION from MEDICARE to fund his little program? Guess you forgot, or just don't care to be truthful. There's a lot of that going around these days. I'm 76 years old ..... and it makes me sick to see what this administration has done to AMERICA in a few short years. Folks need to wake up. Another four years of this ..... and we can kiss our liberties and our country goodbye.

Jim Cox
August 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

Yes, it appears this Bankrate writer jumps on the media practice of preserving the Democratic Party agenda designed to take integrity away from the voting booth, desecrate the Constitution and eliminate personal responsibility. Why isn't the administration exposed for taking funding that we have paid in for Medicare and Social Security and redistributing those funds?

August 15, 2012 at 10:21 am

Yeah and it would have been nice if he compared the Obama plan to this one too...woulda been a whole different story...but we wouldnt want to pass those facts on would we.

Deb DeVries
August 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

Wow, I thought this was a fact based, neutral website. According to this "contributor", I can see that is not the case.