Romney Camp: Tax Specifics Coming In "Next Five Weeks"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 3 2012 11:51 AM

Romney Camp Hints at Tax Specifics. What If He Unveiled Them Mid-Debate?

The Romney campaign is once again promising that its candidate will soon provide the type of policy specifics that his critics have called for.

BuzzFeed with the details:

Speaking at a POLITICO presidential debate preview, [campaign aide Ben] Ginsberg was asked how Romney will pay for the twenty-percent across-the-board reduction in the income tax rate—a running question for Romney, who has outlined broad cuts and promised not to raise taxes on the middle class. "You pay for the tax cuts in the way that Governor Romney is going to articulate in the next five weeks," Ginsberg said. ... "You are going to hear that from his mouth in the coming days."
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Romney kicked off the week by floating one possibility: capping the overall amount of deductions a person is allowed to claim at $17,000.

It is obviously unclear when (or, we suppose, if) Romney will unveil a full plan. Such wonky details would certainly be tough to articulate during tonight's debate—the tax jargon he would need to use to hit the threshold of "policy specifics" could put some viewers to sleep—but doing so could pay political dividends if he managed to successfully execute the (very) unlikely gambit.

For starters, it would force President Obama to go off-script to respond to a plan that he'd be hearing for the first time on live TV. And, if nothing else, it could help Team Romney control a post-debate narrative that will be shaped by reporters looking for news out of what could prove to be an otherwise relatively unexciting opening to the presidential debates.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.