WASHINGTON (AP) — TITLE: “Two Plans.”
LENGTH: 30 seconds.
AIRING: In Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
KEY IMAGES: The ad, from President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, opens with images of people at voting booths.
“The choice on taxes,” says a male narrator. “Mitt Romney’s plan: a 25 percent tax cut for millionaires, tax breaks for oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas, but a tax hike for working families.”
Images of an oceanfront mansion and an Exxon logo buttress the message, followed by scenes of Obama greeting a crowd of supporters and plant workers.
“President Obama’s plan: Ask the wealthy to pay a little more so the middle class pays less, eliminate oil subsidies and tax breaks for companies that outsource,” the narrator says. “Two plans. Your choice.”
ANALYSIS: With economic issues dominating the presidential race, Obama’s ad employs a fresh line of attack against Romney by accusing him of backing higher taxes for working families — the kind of charge Republicans often lob at Democrats.
Obama hopes to sharpen his differences on taxes with Romney. The ad airing in nine states expected to be highly competitive this fall comes days after Obama renewed his call for Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts — set to expire at the end of the year — for households earning under $250,000.
Obama’s key charge that Romney supports a tax hike for millions of working families lacks important context. Romney’s tax plan actually calls for a 20 percent reduction in all personal income tax rates.
The tax-hike claim rests on an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, which assumes Romney wants to let the tax cuts in Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package expire. Romney has been a harsh critic of the stimulus.
The Tax Policy Center said that for about 11 percent of tax filers, Romney’s proposed 20 percent across-the-board tax cut would not be enough to offset the loss of tax benefits in the stimulus package. Those benefits include an expanded child credit, earned income credit and education credit. For those people, taxes would go up an average of nearly $900 for 2015, the center said.
The tax center also said 70 percent of tax filers would get tax cuts averaging almost $4,300 under Romney’s plan, something Obama’s ad ignores.
The claim that Romney supports a tax cut for millionaires is true. Romney’s plan would drop the top tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. But other tax rates would drop, too.
Corporations, as the ad says, also would gain under Romney’s plan, which calls for cutting corporate taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent.
The claims about Obama’s plan are generally on the mark. Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to ensure they pay a minimum of 30 percent of their income.
The president also wants to let the top tax rates go back up 3 to 4 points to 39.6 percent and 36 percent, respectively, and raise tax rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy.
Obama also backs extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000, or $250,000 for couples.
As the ad says, Obama supports tax penalties for U.S. companies that outsource jobs. He wants to end subsidies to the oil industry, but has failed to persuade Congress to do so.