WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Obama mocked rival Mitt Romney’s tax cut proposals today, telling supporters in Florida that his opponent’s plan is bad math and that he should “get some tutoring.”
Mitt Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., struggled in separate Sunday show appearances to offer specifics when asked what tax loopholes they would close to help pay for their proposed tax cuts.
“I guess my opponent has a plan, but there’s one thing missing from it: arithmetic,” Obama said to laughter from the crowd of 6,000 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
“They couldn’t answer the question of how you already have deficits, you add five trillion dollars in new tax cuts, two trillion dollars in new defense spending and somehow you’re going to close the deficit without raising taxes on middle class families?” Obama said.
“They did not take their arithmetic course,” he said to laughter from the fired up crowd. “They need to stay after school. They need to get some extra study hall in there. No recess for you.”
To reduce the deficit, Romney has proposed raising revenue, not by increasing taxes, but by ending loopholes and deductions for the wealthy. Pressed to explain what loopholes he would close, Romney offered few details in an NBC interview Sunday, saying “that people at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions.”
“We want to have this debate with Congress,” Ryan told ABC’s “This Week” when asked what loopholes they are going to target. “We want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them. And our priorities are high income earners should not get these kinds of loopholes.”
Vice President Joe Biden warned supporters in the swing state of Ohio today that the Romney-Ryan ticket would take money from the middle class to give tax breaks to the super wealthy. “Ladies and gentlemen, look, all this has a giant price tag, and it’s not going to come from closing loopholes for millionaires,” he said at a campaign event in Milford. “Folks, when you give these kinds of tax breaks out to the very very wealthy, the money’s got to come from somewhere. And guess who? You.”
Traversing the battleground state of Florida this weekend, Obama has been hammering his opponents for pushing tax cuts as the cure to all economic woes.
“They’ve got the same plan they’ve had for 30 years: Tax cuts, tax cuts, gut a few regulations, and then give some more tax cuts,” he said at a rally earlier today in Melbourne, Fla. “Tax cuts when times are good. Tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds tax cuts to improve your love life.”
–Mary Bruce, Jake Tapper, Arlette Saenz