Joe Biden Exposes Romney's $460 Tax Increase on Social Security Benefits

Sep 28 2012 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Joe Biden, it’s a BFD for seniors. If you’re a senior household making less than
$32,000 or a senior individual making less than $25,000, you might be facing a tax of $460.00 a year on your Social Security so that Mitt Romney can pay for that $5 trillion tax cuts plan for the rich.

No doubt this is just another effort on behalf of Mitt Romney to force you victims and moochers into doing what he does not want to do: pay taxes.

Watch Joe in Boca Raton, Florida here:

Joe pointed out, “Right now, the majority of seniors don’t have to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. Millions more pay taxes on no more than half of their benefits. And even the most fortunate pay no taxes on 15% of their benefits.” He continued, “But if Governor Romney’s tax plan goes into effect, it could mean everyone, everyone, would have to pay more taxes on the Social Security benefits they now receive. The average senior would have to pay $460 more in taxes on their benefits.”

Biden relied on analysis from both the Congressional Budget Office and the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center to buttress his claim that Romney’s tax plan would hit the middle class and poor. The Romney camp came back claiming that they had a plan to save Social Security. However, as always, we are not being given any details on this plan.

One of the problems with Mitt Romney’s refusal to tell us the details of how he’s going to give millionaires a huge tax cut but keep his budget revenue neutral is he’s left it up to analysts to try to figure out how he could do that. The only thing they can figure at this point is that he will have to take away a variety of deductions and loopholes that will hit the middle class and the poor.

OFA breaks this down (and their take squares with both CBO and Tax Policy Center – for more on the Romney tax plan hitting the middle class, read here):

Independent experts found that to pay for his tax plan while protecting preferential tax treatment of investment income, Romney would have to cut tax benefits for those earning under $200,000 by 58 percent. Making this cut across the board means that middle-class seniors would pay an average of $460 more in taxes on their Social Security benefits per year, and almost 30 million families making under $200,000 would face this tax increase every year. If Romney took additional taxes on Social Security benefits off the table, it would only mean deeper cuts to other areas, like the child tax credit or mortgage interest deduction.

Romney keeps claiming that fact-checkers and Obama are attacking him and mischaracterizing him and his policies. He could make this easier for everyone by doing what most candidates do, and that is giving the American people some idea of how he plans to make his budget work.

Instead, Romney will keep crying victim tears when economists point out that in order to achieve his stated goals, he will have to hurt the middle class, the poor, seniors, veterans, hungry children and more. All we have is Romney’s word that he won’t do this, and yet, Romney also told us that he would do this. He told Ohioans they should not be expecting a tax cut because he’s going to be cutting deductions and exemptions. Why is he going to do this? Because Mitt Romney is going to give more tax cuts to the top 1%.

Romney further signaled his intentions regarding Social Security when he nominated the primary author of a plan to privatize Social Security as his running mate. Paul Ryan demonized Social Security as a “welfare transfer” system in a 2005 speech:

But when you look at the fight that we’re in here in Capital Hill, it’s a tough fight. It’s a very important fight. But we need more people on our side to fight this fight. That is why there is no more fight that is more obvious between the differences of these two conflicts than Social Security. Social Security right now is a collectivist system, it’s a welfare transfer system…..

And what’s important is if we actually accomplish this goal of personalizing social security … [Ryan laughs. Ed Hudgins overheard “personalizing”] personalizing social security … [laughter, applause] think of what we will accomplish. Every worker, every laborer in America will not only be a laborer but a capitalist.

The problem Mitt Romney faces is that he’s just not trustworthy. Not only does he keep shifting his positions, but his campaign trails after him quietly reversing his position from what he just told the American people. Romney claims to be on both sides of almost every issue, sometimes within hours of each announcement. We’ve also heard the contempt Romney has for those he deems “takers”. He seems not to realize that seniors have paid into Social Security, or that veterans have earned their health benefits.

If you don’t believe what Mitt Romney says about half of America how can you believe what he tells you about his policies, about Obama, or about himself?

Maybe if he and Ryan got into office he wouldn’t seek to tax seniors. But nothing in his history or his policy suggests that he wouldn’t. In fact, taken at his word, we have every reason to believe that a Romney Ryan administration would do exactly as the House Republicans have done – refuse to fund cost of living raises for our veterans and other “takers” while pushing for tax cuts for the rich.

A bitter irony is that if anyone built this country, it’s our seniors. We shouldn’t have to make a moral argument for giving them what they paid into, but there is a moral imperative that must not be ignored. Just as we want to provide for our veterans, we want to keep our seniors in shelter and food. Our seniors are our grandparents and parents – they have already given to society, and they continue to offer us their wisdom and rich historical context.

I’d like to believe that America is the kind of place that takes care of her own, especially those who have given so much already. Taxing seniors with no income so Republicans can give investment income another tax cut is morally and ethically bankrupt.

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