Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's assertion that programs like Medicare and Social Security are staring at bankruptcy did not stop the Wisconsin congressman from once proposing a federal budget that would have eliminated virtually all taxes on people like his new running-mate, Mitt Romney. (Hat tip: the Los Angeles Times.)
While Ryan's positions have gone through a makeover of late, his 2010 version of the federal budget -- which propelled him to become the so-called "intellectual leader" of the Republican Party -- provided a straightforward plan for tax cuts.
Under Ryan's 2010 proposal, taxes on income derived from capital gains, interest, dividends and inheritance would be eliminated. This would mean that Romney -- who reported an income of $27 million in 2010, all of it from those sources -- would have paid nothing in taxes, according to the Atlantic.
While it's more ambiguous on the capital gains tax, Ryan's most recent budget proposal, for 2013, would still slash income and corporate taxes by $4 trillion, according to The New York Times. Ryan proposes offsetting that heavy loss of government revenue with $6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade.
So who would end up losing funding? The Atlantic's Derek Thompson writes:
It's not just that Ryan would cut 40 percent from transportation, 40 percent from education and training, 30 percent from "income security" programs for the poor, and 24 percent from veterans, as Brad Plumer pointed out. It's that his long-term budget, if you project forward defense spending, would cut 91 percent from these and all other non-defense programs.
The latest Ryan budget does not specifically outline the fate of the tax on capital gains. But it's worth noting that before he announced his support for Ryan's budget plan, one prominent Republican attacked a complete elimination of the capital gains tax, on the very basis that people like Mitt Romney would pay nothing in taxes.
That Republican, of course, was none other than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
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