The Obama campaign points to old proposals by Rep. Paul Ryan in saying that Mitt Romney would pay “less than 1 percent in taxes” under Ryan’s plan and that seniors would pay $6,000 more for Medicare. Ryan’s 2010 budget proposal would have eliminated capital gains and dividend taxes — which were indeed the bulk of Romney’s tax burden for 2010 — but Ryan dropped that specific measure from subsequent budgets. The Medicare claim, too, pertains to a less generous plan Ryan released last year, not his most recent budget.
Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Aug. 12: “It says something about Mitt Romney that he’s picking someone who has a budget plan under which Mitt Romney would pay less than 1 percent in taxes, but the middle class would pay more than $2,000 more in taxes.” Cutter later added: “That’s the budget that Paul Ryan has on the table.” Meanwhile, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” David Axelrod, an Obama campaign senior adviser, was more careful to specify that this was an old Ryan plan, though viewers may not be aware that the proposal had been updated. Axelrod said: “Congressman Ryan had a proposal in 2010, if you took Governor Romney’s tax returns and applied the changes that Congressman Ryan wanted to make to the tax system, Governor Romney would pay less than 1 percent on his taxes. We know he paid 13.9 percent.”
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