The campaigns of President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney both released ads Thursday on taxes.
The Romney campaign struck first, with "Who Will Raise Taxes?," a new ad in which a narrator says, "According to an independent, non-partisan study, Barack Obama and the liberals will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000." But the study the ad refers to is the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank analyzing the costs of debt servicing.
The Obama campaign's ad highlights Romney saying at Wednesday's debate, "I’m not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That’s not my plan." Says a narrator, "If we can’t trust him here … How could we ever trust him here [showing the Oval Office]?" The spot is airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.
In the debate, Romney said, "I'm not asking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I've said is I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. ... I've got five boys. I'm used to people saying something that's not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it."
But Romney's tax plan costs about $5 trillion, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. If Romney doesn't want his plan to cost $5 trillion, it likely means he won't be able to reduce rates by 20 percent across-the-board.
He has also said that he will not eliminate popular tax deductions such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and health care, but the Tax Policy Center said he would have to eliminate middle-class deductions if he wanted to cut rates and maintain revenue-neutrality.