By Mitt Romney
March 1, 2012
Nearly two and a half centuries ago some great American patriots held a little tea party here in Boston. To protest taxation without representation, they boarded British ships and dumped their precious cargo of tea into Boston Harbor.
It’s time for another old-fashioned tax revolt.
President Barack Obama is visiting New Hampshire today. I do not know what he will say, but I can make one safe prediction: He is not going to be mentioning the fact that his administration is pushing for one of the largest tax increases in American history. That would not be good news.
But it’s worse than bad news. It’s bad economics. The president is calling for $1.4 trillion in new revenues from Americans. He’s proposing higher taxes on wages and investments and limiting breaks for retirement savings and health insurance.
This is precisely the wrong way to go. If the president were a doctor performing surgery on the economy, he’d be sued for malpractice.
High taxes are one of the reasons we have low economic growth. They are also one of the reasons that we’ve lost jobs to foreign competition. It’s time to make America competitive again. And I have a plan to do just that.
Instead of raising taxes as the president proposes, I will make an across-the-board, 20 percent reduction in marginal individual income tax rates. This will bring down tax rates for the numerous businesses that pay at individual rates and employ the majority of private-sector American workers. This single stroke alone will lead to significant increases in both hiring and wages.
I will bring down our corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent and transition from a worldwide taxation system to a territorial one.
Right now, our corporate rate is close to the world’s highest. It’s no wonder companies of all sorts are choosing to locate elsewhere. And without a territorial system, foreign-based American firms will continue to keep their profits parked abroad rather than invest them here at home. With our high rates and our punitive incentives, we are shooting ourselves in the foot with a machine gun. This has to end and I will end it.
We must make it easier for middle-income Americans to save and invest. I will eliminate the 15 percent tax on capital gains, interest and qualified dividends for taxpayers with annual income below $200,000. The more all Americans can save and invest, the better off they will be. The more all Americans save and invest, the better off the entire economy will be.
I will abolish the death tax, which taxes income that has already been taxed once before, and which encourages elaborate schemes for transferring wealth. And I will also do away with the Alternative Minimum Tax, which has introduced so much complexity into tax code and has begun to hit the middle class.
As governor of Massachusetts, I cut taxes 19 times, eliminated a $3 billion deficit, and by the end of my term left the commonwealth with a $2 billion rainy-day fund and a 4.7 percent unemployment rate, a level that hasn’t been seen in years. I can do the same thing for our country.
We don’t need to dump tea in Boston Harbor to make our point because, having won the American Revolution, we are a democracy, and we can vote Barack Obama out of office.