A Wall Street Journal article pushed the myth that Mitt Romney's tax plan adds up.
Romney has proposed a 20 percent across-the-board income tax rate, a $5 trillion tax cut that largely benefits the wealthiest Americans. Romney has promised to pay for that tax cut through the elimination of unnamed tax deductions and the closing of loopholes and has promised not to raise taxes on the middle class. But experts and independent fact-checkers have found that it is impossible for Romney to eliminate enough tax deductions and loopholes to pay for his tax cuts.
Nevertheless, in an article discussing President Obama's and Romney's tax plans, the Journal suggested that Romney will eliminate tax breaks in order to ensure that his proposed "rate cuts don't add to the government's budget deficit":
Mr. Romney is open to narrowing or ending some large tax breaks on savings and investment for upper-income households. An aide said last week that it would be "incorrect to assume" that such changes are off the table for Mr. Romney. Among the possibilities he might consider are curbing the tax exemption on the interest from municipal bonds and on life-insurance investments for higher-income households, the aide said.
Mr. Romney would use the extra revenue from curbing tax breaks to help offset the cost of reducing by 20% the rates on wages and salaries, so those rate cuts don't add to the government's budget deficit. Mr. Obama wants to use the added revenue to reduce the deficit.
However, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center found that even if Romney eliminated all itemized deductions, his proposal would bring in at most $2.6 trillion over 10 years and therefore would not come close to covering the $5 trillion cost of Romney's proposed tax cut. As a result, independent fact-checkers have said it's not possible for to cut taxes as Romney has pledged to do without adding to the deficit or increasing taxes on the middle class.
The Journal's editorial page has previously pushed the myth that Romney's tax plan adds up. Now, the myth has left the opinion pages and embedded itself in the Journal's straight news reporting.