In an interview set to air in full on Friday, Paul Ryan says that the reason Mitt Romney and he can’t reveal the details of their tax plan is because they really want to be able to have a nuanced, public debate with their Congressional opponents:
Interviewer David Brody: “There are some conservatives that have spoken out saying they want to see some more specifics from the Romney/Ryan team and one thing that comes up, at least from the liberals is tax loopholes. Is there a reason you guys aren’t naming specific tax loopholes?”
Paul Ryan: “Yes because we want to get it done. Look, I’ve been on the Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. I’m very familiar with how to make successful tax reforms take place. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil did it in 1986 but we haven’t done it since 1986 for lots of reasons which is we don’t want to presume to say ‘here’s exactly our way or the highway take it or leave it Congress.’ We want to say this is our vision, lower tax rates across the board for families and small businesses and work on the loopholes that are enjoyed by the higher income earners, take away their tax shelters so more of their income is subject to taxation. That lowers everybody’s tax rates. And we have to be able to work with Congress on those details, on how to fill it in and more to the point we don’t want to cut some backroom deal that they did with Obamacare where we hatched some plan behind the scenes and they spring it on the country. We want to do this in front, in the public, through congressional hearings with Congress so that we can get to the best conclusion with a public participation. That’s the process that works the best to ultimate success gets this done. That’s why we’re doing it this way.”
Wait, so Paul Ryan can’t announce the Romney/Ryan tax plan because… Republicans really want to compromise with their Congressional opponents? Sounds legit to us.
So, even though the plans for what ultimately became Obamacare started years before Obama was ever elected president, and even though Congress held over 31 bipartisan, publicly broadcast meetings to hash out the details of the plan, in Paul Ryan’s world Obama simply etched every detail of Obamacare in stone without any consultation with Congress and refused to make any compromises, thereby “springing it” on the nation. And, since Romney and Ryan don’t want to repeat this kind of dictatorial action in implementing their tax plan, they are refusing to name any specific tax loopholes they would close or provide any details whatsoever on how their plan will magically lower taxes, increase spending, and reduce the deficit all at once. It apparently would be impossible for Romney/Ryan to announce a concrete proposal outlining their specific plans now — before the election — and then work with Congress to make adjustments later. They are incapable of making any compromises once the super-secret details are released?
Here’s a suggested follow-up question for Ryan’s interviewer: “Uhh, why, exactly?“