DELAWARE, Ohio Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Ohio voters Wednesday that they can't afford four more years of President Obama's economic policies, arguing that while the Democratic president would raise taxes on middle-income households, he would lower them.
But Romney's proposal as he described it - eliminating tax on interest, dividends, and capital gains - would largely help those living on investment income, which does not include many people in the middle class.
At a rally here, Romney told the crowd that Obama would raise taxes on middle-income families by $4,000, a claim that has been debunked by several fact-checking websites. Romney promised to reduce the burden of those making $200,000 a year or less.
"I have a plan to cut taxes for middle-income tax payers," Romney said. "My plan does this. There'll be no tax on interest, dividends, or capital gains for middle-income families in America."
The wealthy are the major beneficiaries of low taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; many middle income Americans don't have investment income. The tax break will likely help senior citizens, however, many of whom do live on investment income.
Though he did not mention it Wednesday, Romney's tax plan also includes reducing income tax rates by 20 percent across-the-board, a figure which could significantly reduce the tax burden of middle-income Americans. But some experts are skeptical that Romney will be able to keep tax rates low for middle-income taxpayers without getting rid of loopholes like the mortgage tax deduction, a popular tax break for people in the middle class who own their own homes.
Romney has consistently said he will not raise taxes on any Americans, but has declined to specify which loopholes and deductions he would get rid of in order to make his tax plan revenue neutral.
According to Romney spokesman Rick Gorka, Romney believes that eliminating taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains will "encourage investment in savings," and that more Americans will start to utilize these tax tools to save money.