Romney's Idea on Taxes May Save the Day
His proposal to cap deductions by a fixed dollar amount is in play
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2012 2:41 PM CST
Mitt Romney, accompanied by wife Ann, waves after speaking at a campaign event at George Mason University on Nov. 5.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – What a difference an election makes: Democrats are suddenly getting behind an idea pitched by Mitt Romney as a way out of the fiscal cliff mess, reports the New York Times. On the trail, Romney floated the notion of putting a cap on income tax deductions at a fixed dollar amount. He didn't get into specifics, but negotiators now see the idea as a way to make the rich pay more in taxes without raising rates. "Let's just say there's a renewed interest," says Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad.

As Matthew O'Brien at the Atlantic explains, "a cap just might be a Republican-friendly way to get what Democrats want." He cites an example of how progressive it would be: A cap set at $50,000 would bring in an additional $59 billion in 2015, and the richest Americans—the ones who take the biggest deductions—would account for 75% of it. But don't assume it will fly, despite the seemingly bipartisan credentials. "This is a tax hike in sheep’s clothing, and the question is whether the GOP congressional leadership will treat it as such," writes Peter Grier at the Christian Science Monitor.