Ryan Refuses To Explain Tax Plan Math

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 30 2012 3:18 PM

Paul Ryan: Explaining the Math Behind Tax Plan Would Be Too Time-Consuming

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running-mate Paul Ryan share a laugh as they are introduced at a campaign rally in Vandalia, Ohio

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

Paul Ryan was clearly in friendly territory when he sat down for an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday. But there was a point when Wallace clearly grew frustrated with the vice presidential candidate’s failure to explain the basic principles behind Mitt Romney’s tax plan, points out Mediaite. Romney and Ryan insist they can cut individual rates by 20 percent without adding to the deficit by cutting loopholes and deductions for the wealthiest Americans.

Wallace asked Ryan to “talk specifics” and posed what seemed to be a simple question: How much would it cost? Ryan seemed stumped. When Wallace insisted, saying "you haven't given me the math," the vice-presidential candidate laughed, “I don’t have the time. It would take me too long to go through all the math.” (Video after the jump.) The Washington Post’s Suzy Khimm points out that “the basic message from Ryan here is: Trust us—the math adds up.”

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Ryan also said that that Romney’s plan would not do away with “preferences for the middle class, for things like charitable deductions, for home purchases, for health care.” The remarks were seen as significant because Republicans have largely avoided talking about specific deductions, points out the Financial Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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