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· September 12, 2012

Recap: IO-CAP Report Shows Romney Economics Won’t Go Down Easy at Ohio’s Kitchen Tables

Innovation Ohio and the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a report today, The Real Cost of the Romney-Ryan Plan to Ohioans. If you’re a member of the middle class or struggling to get by in today’s economy, you might want to read it. Tom Perriello, president of CAP Action, gave a presentation today in downtown Columbus where he drew a distinction between the kitchen table and the king’s table. The kitchen table is one of the regular places that working people and families sit down to figure out how to navigate today’s economy. They talk about paying for extra fees for sports at school, health care costs, their home values and how to pay for tuition at a university or community college. They make decisions about what they can and cannot afford. They pay their taxes and what they want in return is for government to keep its promises on Social Security and Medicare and for federal and state officials to invest in the things that make Ohio and the nation stronger. At the king’s table sit the millionaires and billionaires who are trying to buy this year’s election. Their proxy and humble servant is Mitt Romney. When he can get away with it, he’s evasive about his plans for the nation’s economy. He ought to be. His plan calls for massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while the middle class picks up the tab. Here are a few of the kitchen table issues our latest report documents from Romney’s plan:

  • Middle-class Ohioans would pay more in taxes while millionaires pay less. Millionaires in the state would receive an additional $87,000 in tax breaks under the tax plans of Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan while middle-class families would pay $1,900 more in health care taxes and $1,066 more in taxes on their mortgages.
  • Jobs would decline across Ohio. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan plan to provide extra tax incentives for corporations to outsource jobs and are pushing policy proposals to cripple the clean energy industry, jeopardizing 125,000 jobs across the state.
  • Drastic cuts to federal spending would shrink Ohio’s middle class. The state stands to lose more than $106 billion in federal funding from 2013 through 2022, an average of more than $10 billion a year, from cuts to schools, law enforcement, highway repairs, job-training programs and more. These cuts would fall predominantly on middle-class and low-income families, especially cuts to education programs that would result in nearly $100 million in reduced federal support for education in the state in 2013 and 2014 alone.
  • Seniors in Ohio would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $660 more for their prescription drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more out of pocket.
  • Women in Ohio would pay more for health care but receive less bang for their buck. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would once again allow insurance companies to charge women more than men while taking away preventive care from at least 1.9 million women in the state.
  • Young adults in Ohio would lose access to their families’ health insurance. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan promise to dismantle Obamacare, which would directly result in 97,000 young adults in Ohio losing the insurance they have today due to the Affordable Care Act.
As an example of who would benefit from four years of a Romney presidency, Perriello pointed out Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas and Macau casino magnate who is the largest single donor to both the Romney campaign and Romney’s Super PAC. When you add up the skin Adelson has in the Romney game and compare it to how much this high roller stands to benefit from Romney’s policies, Adelson is looking at a cool 2200% return on his campaign investments over four years of a Romney administration. To the left you can see what some of the Romney tax breaks for the super rich would mean to Adelson. The most remarkable thing in all of this isn’t the $2.3 billion Adelson personally stands to gain. It’s the extreme danger that the last two tax policies on the list would pose for the U.S. and Ohio macro economies. Romney is proposing a foreign tax holiday. This means that the U.S. investors or businesses who have generated profits overseas – and kept them there to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. – would be able to bring that money home, tax free. Romney doesn’t want to make this just a one time deal, however. For years, especially during the height of the recession, various forms of a foreign tax holiday were considered. The thinking was that if this money was brought back to the U.S., and lower tax rates were levied if the money were reinvested in job creating activities, such a repatriation of assets would have a stimulus effect on the economy. There are no strings attached in a Romney foreign tax holiday — and he wants to make it permanent. Ninety percent of Adelson’s annual business profits are generated overseas. Of course he’s for a no strings attached approach. And what do you think other corporate titans will do if they know they can make unlimited money as a U.S. business operating offshore and pay no taxes? They’re going to move even more manufacturing, IT and service sector jobs overseas where labor is cheap and they can trash the environment with impunity. “The idea of a serious candidate putting this forward is incredible,” said Perriello. Perriello said these ideas are incredible, but totally predictable. “This is the conservative economic theory. If you give Sheldon Adelson $2.3 billion then somehow that’s going to benefit everybody else at the kitchen table. That’s an argument we’re more than happy to have.” Perriello also said it’s no surprise Mitt Romney is so comfortable with his message and right-wing tax policies. “This is exactly what Mitt Romney did in his private sector career,” Perriello said. “How do you get a return on investment to a small number of shareholders – often at the expense of all the workers at that factory or business. This is what he’s spent his life doing.”

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