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Mitt's Secrets

Thomas Whitley

Mother Jones has a piece out on six things Mitt Romney is hiding. They range from old emails from when he was governor of Massachusetts to details as to how he has an IRA worth between $20.7 and $101.6 million when the legal annual contribution limit is $17,000 ($30,000 if an employer matches). CNNMoney has a piece out today on another sort of secret Mitt's keeping.

Mitt Romney's other tax secret | CNNMoney: It has become clear that Mitt Romney does not want to release any additional tax returns.

But that's not the only tax issue the presumptive nominee has been reluctant to talk about. He has been equally quiet on a policy question that could have a direct impact on the amount of taxes paid by millions of Americans.

Romney has for months touted an ambitious plan that promises massive tax cuts. He has also steadfastly refused to say how he would pay for them.

Romney has proposed a 20% across-the-board cut to income tax rates. He also wants to scrap the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminate the estate tax and chop the tax rate paid by corporations from 35% to 25%.

All those cuts mean the government would collect far less revenue. Romney claims his plan will make up the difference in-part by limiting deductions, exemptions and credits currently available to top-level income earners.

But he hasn't lifted the curtain on which deductions he is planning to curtail.

I'm not saying that President Obama doesn't have secrets too or that I fail to understand that your campaign in platitudes and govern in policy. I know that as soon as any candidate releases details on things like this, they open themselves up for numerous attacks.

However, as it stands, his tax "plan" is virtually unscorable by groups like the Congressional Budget Office and the Tax Policy Center, both nonpartisan groups that score these types of plans and give estimates as to what their economic impact would be (for what it's worth, TPC estimates a $3 trillion increase to the deficit under Romney's plan over the next 10 years and that's with extending the Bush tax cuts - that doesn't sound like a tax plan from a real fiscal conservative).

Romney himself has said, "frankly it can’t be scored." And on the question of making up for all the tax cuts Romney is offering, Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center said, "It's really hard to figure out a way to make this operational."

How does Romney plan to get independents who are concerned with the economy to believe him when he says he's the solution to all our economic woes if he won't tell us what his real economic policy proposals entail? Offering huge tax cuts to everyone is always popular, but it's not always fiscally responsible.