The Wall Street Journal distorted comments made by an aide to President Obama's reelection campaign to push the falsehood that Mitt Romney has not proposed a $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.
A Journal editorial claimed that Obama campaign aide Jen Psaki "has acknowledged" that Romney does not have plans for a $5 trillion tax cut financed by a middle-class tax increase.
In fact, it is indisputably true that Romney's plans a nearly $5 trillion tax cut. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center found that Romney's tax cut cost $480 billion a year or nearly $5 trillion over the next decade.
Psaki said nothing to contradict this finding. Rather, Psaki noted that Romney has promised to pay for the $5 trillion tax cut by eliminating unspecified tax deductions and loopholes, but his math does not add up. She pointed out that even if people gave Romney the "absolute benefit of the doubt" on eliminating deductions and loopholes, there was no way to cover the $5 trillion cost of the tax cut. Psaki added that Romney can only enact his tax plan by "either blowing a hole in the deficit or raising taxes on middle class family."
Indeed, the Tax Policy Center has found that in order to pay for Romney's $5 trillion tax cut by eliminating deductions and loopholes, there would have to be a "deep reduction in popular tax benefits" like deductions for "low- and middle-income families and children." These cuts to lower- and middle-class benefits "would provide large tax cuts to high-income households" while increasing "the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers."
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein created a chart based on this TPC report depicting the effect of the tax break cuts on after tax income. Almost all of the benefits of Romney's plan would go to the top 5 percent of earners, and if Romney did finance his tax cut through closing deductions and loopholes, everyone else would see their take-home pay decrease:
Much as the Journal tries to hide it, Romney has proposed a $5 trillion tax cut and cannot pay for it without raising taxes on the middle class.