Romney pledges income tax cut, end to deductions - KMSP-TV

  • If you had to pick, which deduction would you have Romney eliminate to cut income taxes by 20 percent?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    The mortgage interest deduction [$470 billion]
    15 votes
    State and real estate tax deductions [$172 billion]
    6 votes
    Charitable contributions [$40 billion]
    32 votes
    Health insurance [$184 billion]
    9 votes
    None of the above.
    32 votes
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Romney pledges income tax cut, end to deductions

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Many voters love to hear promises about lower income taxes without increasing taxes for the middle class, and Mitt Romney claims he can do it by eliminating tax deductions and loopholes -- but which ones?

Romney seemed to duck the question on "60 Minutes" on Sunday night, but there are 116 individual income tax deductions -- and every single one has a fan club.

Rich or poor, everyone seems to have something they love in the current tax code. From the home mortgage interest deduction to the earned income tax credit, scrapping popular deductions could be a tough sell to some Americans.

Still, Romney says he'll be able to reduce everyone's income taxes by 20 percent by eliminating tax deductions. He just won't say which ones.

However, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says it is "not mathematically possible" to achieve Romney's pledge without raising taxes on the middle class.

Tax accountant Todd Koch told FOX 9 News that Romney's options are limited because only a few deductions are broad enough to generate the kind of revenue he would need to offset the income tax cuts. Those include:

  • The mortgage interest deduction for $470 billion
  • State and real estate tax deductions for $172 billion
  • Charitable contributions for $40 billion
  • Health insurance, which will appear on the 2013 W2 for $184 billion

Everyone seems willing to get rid of someone else's tax break, but the question this election is who voters will trust to make the choice. Romney admits most Americans would not see a huge reduction in taxes under his plan, but President Barack Obama has his own trouble in the tax arena. He wants to eliminate corporate deductions, but he also won't get into specifics about which ones.

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