Trust me: you will see very few news analyses saying that Mr. Romney proposes huge tax cuts for the rich, with no plausible offset other than big benefit cuts for everyone else — even though this is the simple truth. Instead, you will see pieces reporting that “Democrats say” that this is what Mr. Romney proposes, matched with dueling quotes from Republican sources. ...Paul Krugman, NYT
As Paul Krugman points out in "Politics and the Personal," the basics of Romney's policies get little play from the media and little interest from most voters. Here are the basics, the hard numbers -- and they are very hard for most of us.
The impact at the top would be large. According to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the Romney plan would reduce the annual taxes paid by the average member of the top 1 percent by $237,000 compared with the Obama plan; for the top 0.1 percent that number rises to $1.2 million. No wonder Mr. Romney’s fund-raisers in the Hamptons attracted so many eager donors that there were luxury-car traffic jams.
What about everyone else? Again according to the policy center, Mr. Romney’s tax cuts would increase the annual deficit by almost $500 billion. He claims that he would make this up by closing loopholes, in a way that wouldn’t shift the tax burden toward the middle class — but he has refused to give any specifics, and there’s no reason to believe him. Realistically, those big tax cuts for the rich would be offset, sooner or later, with higher taxes and/or lower benefits for the middle class and the poor. ...Paul Krugman, NYT
Meanwhile, the media focuses on the mud-slinging (from both sides), on the Obama campaign's focus on Romney's tax returns and the fuzziness of Romney's claims about his continued involvement in the management of his company, Bain Capital, when he'd like us to believe he was at considerable distance from its behaviors.
The point is that talking about Mr. Romney’s personal history isn’t a diversion from substantive policy discussion. On the contrary, in a political and media environment strongly biased against substance, talking about Bain and offshore accounts is the only way to bring the real policy issues into focus. And we should applaud, not condemn, the Obama campaign for standing up to the tut-tutters. ...Paul Krugman, NYT
And anyway, talking about Romney's business is hardly talking about Romney's "personal history." Now, if Obama were hammering at something as personal as Romney's parents and where Romney was born, that would be overly personal. Right?