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Oct 04 2012

Romney’s Tax Cut That Isn’t

Here’s something I have not yet heard said about Romney’s plan to cut tax rates by 20% across the board and have that cut be revenue-neutral by eliminating or reducing deductions and exemptions: It isn’t really a tax cut at all, is it? I mean, if you drop my marginal rate by 20% but also eliminate deductions that save me 20%, it’s all a wash. I’m still paying the same amount in taxes, it’s just being added up differently. In fact, Romney said as much last week:

“Our individual income taxes are ones I want to reform, make them simpler. I want to bring the rates down,” he said. “By the way, don’t be expecting a huge cut in taxes because I’m also going to lower deductions and exemptions. But by bringing rates down, we’ll be able to let small businesses keep more of their money so they can hire more people.”

But if it’s actually going to be revenue-neutral, as he continually promises while offering no actual numbers, there can’t be any net cut in taxes at all. Some people may pay a bit more and some a bit less, but overall it would have to be a wash. But wait…isn’t the whole argument here that cutting taxes will stimulate the economy because people will have more money to spend, which will increase demand and create new jobs? That cannot happen if the same amount is coming out in taxes on a net basis.

But it could have some pretty significant negative effects, depending on which deductions he chooses to eliminate. Different groups of people have different access to the many kinds of deductions and exemptions. If you eliminate or reduce the deduction for health insurance premiums, a large family that pays a lot for health insurance might pay significantly higher taxes while a single person would not lose as large of a deduction and would not see such a big bump (at least not large enough to balance out the 20% marginal rate cut).

If you cut out the deduction for mortgage interest, it might well make it more difficult for the housing market to recover by diminishing the incentive to buy rather than rent a house. If you cut out the deduction for charitable contributions, you could cause serious damage to non-profit organizations that provide important services. The point is that there are always tradeoffs that need to be considered. But if taxes don’t go down on a net basis — and they can’t, if this is truly going to be a revenue-neutral plan — you don’t get any of that imagined economic stimulus, and that wipes out everything on the plus side of the column.

35 comments

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  1. 1
    newfie

    Good points, Ed. It’d be nice to see the Obama campaign articulate them like that.

  2. 2
    Deen

    Well, it is possible to bring the rates down on “small business owners” and still be revenue neutral – but that would mean bringing the effective rates up for everyone else. That’s the math that Romney/Ryan don’t have time to explain to us.

    Also, redistributing the tax burden (or the wealth, if you will) could also have a stimulating effect on the economy. The only problem is that the Republicans want to move it the wrong way.

  3. 3
    machintelligence

    This is why he avoided specifics on which deductions he would remove. Additionally, if small businesses would pay less, who would pay more? I’m betting it would not be the 1%.

  4. 4
    Die Anyway

    Damn, Ed, you’re trying to use logic to evaluate a political statement. We’re talking non-overlapping magesteria here. Of course it doesn’t compute.

    In the long run though, I do wish they would simplify the process. After about a week of gathering paperwork, researching this – that – and the other thing, filling out forms, visiting my accountant, etc. I end up paying about 25% of my gross income in various taxes. So why don’t they just send me a bill for 25% instead of making my life hell for a week AND taking the 25%?

  5. 5
    naturalcynic

    Speaking of charitable contributions that might be reduced, maybe RMoney is a secret atheist and he will cut deductible contributions to churches.
    Oh, was I dozing off?

  6. 6
    Michael Heath

    Ed,

    Your missing a key factor, the change in economic growth because of his doing this; that will change the effective rate. Romney could be advocating for a plan that effectively increases taxes (though I doubt it). This is why I was harping on the media for not asking Romney what his model projects will happen to the effective tax rate given a certain growth projection. And what is that growth rate projection Mr. Romney? Where both Mr. Romney and Paul Ryan repeatedly note their plan depends on a higher growth rate in order for all this work.

    Here’s Romney’s stated plan: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/tax

    Here’s the full context of the plan as I understand it:
    1) Cut taxes (see link above)
    3) Cut deductions and credits, how much he won’t tell us, revenues go back up but by how much we don’t know. Economists know there’s not enough credits to replace the cuts, so therefore spending cuts are needed
    4) Increases defense spending by $2 trillion over 5 years
    5) Cuts some other spending. He won’t tell us what or how much though he gives us a spending cap relative to GDP in his spending page. In addition it’s politically impossible to cut enough spending to replace the lost revenue from this tax cuts in spite of the eradication of deductions and credits to high income earners.
    6) Secret economic growth rates increase over the baseline
    7) The effective tax rate is increased or decreased? I don’t think we can tell, Romney/Ryan aren’t telling, and the press is too stupid to ask.

    Knowing the effective rate scored by an independent and credible source using their economic growth rates is the only way to understand whether Romney has cut or increased taxes. I think Romney’s covertly using outrageously unrealistically economic growth rate projections which will make his effective rates look good and therefore appear like the plan is a tax cut or as he claims, revenue neutral. But if enacted, growth won’t occur as fast as he predicts and therefore the effective rate for the country and certain elements within it will increase.

    Regardless, this effective rate as a prediction is largely predicated by the assumptions he makes regarding how the plan changes total income, where taxes are mostly raised as a function of income. We know Republicans have always lied about economic growth rates to sell similar past plans that reduced high earners’ tax liabilities. That of course led to both more debt and stagnant growth. There’s no reason to think otherwise here. In fact I’d argue those credits and deductions promote growth, so cutting them reduces certain growth levers and would therefore require an even higher effective tax rate, compounded by his targeting other spending spending cuts which also promote growth.

    It appears the effective rate would either be cut significantly for the very rich where there’s no way getting rid of deductions, credits, and reducing spending can replace that lost revenue. It also appears his plan would explode the debt, not eradicate it, perhaps beyond what happened in the 1980s and 2000s.

  7. 7
    Michael Heath

    newfie writes:

    Good points, Ed. It’d be nice to see the Obama campaign articulate them like that.

    Actually President Obama repeatedly made a cogent case in the debate last evening on this very topic.

  8. 8
    Michael Heath

    Deen writes:

    Well, it is possible to bring the rates down on “small business owners” and still be revenue neutral – but that would mean bringing the effective rates up for everyone else. That’s the math that Romney/Ryan don’t have time to explain to us.

    No, you could get improved growth rates by reforming the tax code. In fact that’s exactly what the Romney plan requires. However from my vantage point it appears most of what Mr. Romney is advocating will reduce growth rates below the baseline, which will in turn as you point out, require an increase in the effective rate of others to not increase debt further.

  9. 9
    d.c.wilson

    I suspect the reason Mitt won’t give any specifics about which deductions he will close is either 1) there are none and he’s actually relying on the magic of supply side economics to pay for his cuts or 2) the ones he wants to close are those that primarily benefit the middle class and he doesn’t want us to see how badly he’s going to screw us.

    Either way, the underpants gnome rule applies:

    Phase one: cut taxes

    Phase two:???

    Phase three: profit!

  10. 10
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    I can’t get over the fact that in the U.S. you can deduct your mortgage interest from your taxes. It’s like looking over the fence from Canada and seeing a completely alien world.

    Envy. That’s what I’m feeling. :)

  11. 11
    Michael Heath

    d.c. wilson writes:

    I suspect the reason Mitt won’t give any specifics about which deductions he will close is either 1) there are none and he’s actually relying on the magic of supply side economics to pay for his cuts . . .

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan both have asserted they’re relying on projected increases in growth rates to make his math work. So the equation is not: cut taxes + cut deductions/credits + increase defense spending + cut other spending = reduction of debt from the baseline. It’s instead partly based on his plan resulting in more economic growth which is also a factor in that equation where it changes the effective tax rate.

    Tax reform can result in increased revenue in spite of cutting the effective tax rate and one doesn’t have to be a Arthur Laffer supply-sider fanboy to accept that. However I see all Romney’s communicated moves resulting in more economic stagnation with the exception of cuts to certain businesses; so I doubt his projected growth rates are viable.

  12. 12
    Area Man

    While trying to decipher Romney’s actual meaning is like trying to interpret a novel out of chicken entrails, I believe that when he says “revenue neutral”, he is including wildly optimistic assumptions about economic growth in that phrase. So while the absolute amount of taxes paid on average would remain the same, people would also have much more income on average.

    Obviously, this is just the Tax Fairy again, and there’s no theoretical or empirical justification behind it. But the funny thing is, even if you take those optimistic growth rates into account, you still can’t get revenue neutrality without raising effective middle class taxes.

    On top of that, the point should be made that while overhauling the tax code is a good idea, and that there are strong arguments to be made for ditching the numerous deductions and tax expenditures, lowering the rate is not an integral part of this process. It’s just a way to sell it to a taxophobic public: you lose your precious deductions but we’ll give it back to you in the form of lower rates. But the rates themselves have nothing to do with tax code complexity; it’s precisely those deductions and expenditures that Romney won’t discuss that are what tax reform is all about. Instead, he starts off with the rate cuts first, before we even have any idea of how much money we’ll save through getting rid of loopholes or whether it will be possible to get rid of them at all. This is an obvious snowjob with predictable consequences.

  13. 13
    robb

    @ d.c.wilson: exactly what i thought of–underwear gnomes!

    then again, don’t mormon’s already have some kind of magic underwear?

  14. 14
    Michael Heath

    Area Man writes:

    I believe that when he says “revenue neutral”, he is including wildly optimistic assumptions about economic growth in that phrase.

    Mitt Romney is arguing his model includes economic growth rates over the baseline in order to maintain revenue neutrality. He hasn’t been too reluctant to admit that where Ryan has been explicit on this in the past as well, e.g., the Chris Wallace interview on Fox News. What those growth rates are haven’t been disclosed.

    I’m confident you’re correct on this being a snowjob.

  15. 15
    Raging Bee

    I’m still scratching my head over Romney’s promise not to cut taxes in any way that would increase the deficit. Like, what other kind of tax cut is there? Romney’s anti-tax rhetoric is nothing but wishful thinking — just another Republican promising voters everything but the bill.

  16. 16
    Ed Brayton

    I know they’re counting on boosting economic growth as a way to increase revenue, but that still leaves lots of questions unanswered. Like which deductions they’re going to reduce or eliminate, and who is going to be affected, and how much revenue is going to be gained by it. And of course, there just isn’t any evidence that lower marginal rates lead to economic growth, especially when the whole premise is that putting more money in people’s pockets will boost demand and therefore jobs and you’ve already said that you’re going to make up for at least part of that cut by reducing deductions so people will end up getting a very small reduction. So the question is still which deductions they’re going to reduce or eliminate, how much of that $500 billion a year are they going to make up for in that manner, and who is going to see their rates go up or down. All questions they refuse to answer. But even if they only end up getting half the cuts back through reduced deductions, that leaves only a $250 billion tax cut, spread out in some unspecified manner. Hell, the stimulus bill had more tax cuts than that in it and they still claim that didn’t do anything to help the economy.

  17. 17
    Uncle Glenny

    I have a couple questions which may sound stupid. I haven’t done my own taxes in 20 years and I;ve been living on disability only with no other income for several years so…. In part because of silomowbray’s comment:

    (1) Mortgage deductions, like charitable contributions, work by reducing the portion of income which is taxed; therefore with a progressive tax rate they are in a sense regressive since the government is subsidizing a higher proportion for those with higher taxable income. (Ignoring bracket boundaries for simplicity.) Correct?

    (2) This bears on something else I saw which has to do with school vouchers (everything’s connected!) When a business gets a “tax credit” for some qualified expenditure, what exactly does that mean? It’s distinct from a deduction like the above?

  18. 18
    bmiller

    In a world groaning with the after effects of “economic growth” and possibly facing epochal climate change and resource shortages, isn’t it a little crazy to be expecting economic “growth” at all?

  19. 19
    Reginald Selkirk

    Uncle Glenny #17: (1) Mortgage deductions, like charitable contributions, work by reducing the portion of income which is taxed; therefore with a progressive tax rate they are in a sense regressive since the government is subsidizing a higher proportion for those with higher taxable income. (Ignoring bracket boundaries for simplicity.) Correct?

    Yes. Money I pay on mortgage interest (not the principal) and to charities can be deducted, thus lowering the portion of my income which is taxed. But of course I don’t get to keep the money, it goes to the bank, or to a charity. However, in the case of a mortgage I do get ownership of the home (eventually).
    .
    The point of these and other deductions is that society, in the form of its government, wishes to shape behaviour. They had the idea that home ownership is good, and they want to encourage it. Other deductions are available for things like installing alternative energy.
    .
    2) Tax credits: these are even better than deductions. As you guessed, deductions are carved off of your income before the tax is calculated. So if I’m in the 30% tax bracket and have a deduction, I save 30% of the amount of the deduction in taxes I don’t have to pay. Tax credits come in after the income is calculated, and they are carved out of the amount of tax I would otherwise have to pay. So a tax credit means that 100% of the value of the credit is tax I would otherwise have to pay, regardless of which bracket I am in.

  20. 20
    John Horstman

    This is why it’s a bad idea to elect leaders who regularly engage in magical thinking in one are of their lives: they engage in magical thinking in other areas, too. I started shouting this exact point at the TV as soon as he made his absurd, magical claim.

  21. 21
    Area Man

    (1) Mortgage deductions, like charitable contributions, work by reducing the portion of income which is taxed; therefore with a progressive tax rate they are in a sense regressive since the government is subsidizing a higher proportion for those with higher taxable income. (Ignoring bracket boundaries for simplicity.) Correct?

    Sort of. The absolute value of any deduction will be greater for higher income people, but the relative value is likely to be greater for lower income people, all else being equal. If you assume a $5000 mortgage interest deduction, this is a big savings for someone making $50,000, but not so much for someone making $500,000. The person making the half mil however is almost certainly saving money at the highest rate, while the person making $50k does not get anywhere near that bracket.

    What it mostly comes down to is who qualifies for more deduction. Rich people after all tend to buy more expensive houses, but there’s a limit to how expensive your house can be and you only get to deduct one. Most analyses I’ve seen suggest that the upper-middle class benefits from the mortgage interest deduction the most, and the rich don’t benefit quite so much.

    The upper-middle class however draws a lot of water. This is probably the most expensive deduction in the tax code, and you can expect it to be defended tenaciously.

    (2) This bears on something else I saw which has to do with school vouchers (everything’s connected!) When a business gets a “tax credit” for some qualified expenditure, what exactly does that mean? It’s distinct from a deduction like the above?

    Yes, I think Reginald covered it succinctly above. To add to that, tax credits are sometimes called “tax expenditures” by people trying to call attention to the fact that they are functionally equivalent to government spending. There is no economic difference between granting a tax credit for college eduction and simply paying directly for someone’s college education. Except that the latter is a bit more efficient. We’ve wound up with so many tax expenditures because it disguises government spending as tax cuts, and Republicans love them some tax cuts.

  22. 22
    Modusoperandi

    Revenue neutrality and magical numbers aside;

    Weird how they don’t call it “Keynesian” when Republicans do it, hmmm?

  23. 23
    Uncle Glenny

    Reginald Selkirk:

    Thanks. I thought that was what a tax credit did, but wasn’t sure, and here’s why, and why I was questioning my theory.

    I was reading about some state’s plan to allow kids to go to other than public schools, which could be religious. I don’t remember details or if this was tied to vouchers or what they called it; it was months or more than a year ago, and it will take me a while to dig it up.

    The part of the scheme I remember is this: businesses could donate money to such schools, and they would receive a tax credit for that amount. The total amount, within the state as a whole, was capped but would increase year by year. There may have been some ability to direct these as scholarships; I can’t remember for sure.

    The scam seems pretty obvious to me.

  24. 24
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    This is how it works: Psychology.

    You tell the highest bracket they are getting a 20% tax cut, but their effective taxes stay the same. Still, they are all happy about the socialist taxes being removed (regardless that the effective rate is the same), and they go on to invest craptons of money into business, which also gets more people hired. Then the financial sector follows suit and actually starts lending again.

    See? Magic. Never mind the costs of changing the tax code. Then we can spend quintillions on being showy, building the machinery of death, and killing people wherever we like in the world.

  25. 25
    matthewhodson

    It just sounds like regular grade A bullshit.
    The GOP has to be able to say to his base that they are cutting taxes.
    If anything taxes are too low already in the USA. Too low if you want to maintain the largest military in the world whilst still having some money left over for the little things like healthcare, education, roads, power and other infrastructure that is a necessity for modern business (and society) to continue.

  26. 26
    lancifer

    On a semi-related topic, I saw a presidential candidate up close and personal by accident tonight. One that wasn’t invited to the debates.

    I teach at IUPUI in Indianapolis and was giving an exam to my math class. The class is in one of those big theater style class rooms that hold over 100 people. It is next to a much larger auditorium size lecture room that seats about five hundred people.

    During the exam we heard a huge roar go up in the auditorium room next door. Out of curiosity I popped open the door to the bigger room and I was standing right behind a lectern where Libertarian Presidential candidate, and former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson was just starting to give a speech.

    After my class was finished I went into the auditorium and listened to his speech.

    Holy Moly! He was talking about ending the Federal Reserve, going to (more than one) private currencies, eliminating the IRS and instituting a federal sales tax etc.

    It was fun to listen to these ideas knowing that he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected let alone enacting any of these “radical” (at least by the standards of the current paradigm) policies.

    I left after a few minutes and took a bumper sticker and some pamphlets.

    I live in Indiana and it will probably go to Romney but I might consider voting for Johnson after checking out more of his ideas. Libertarians are usually for legalizing drugs, marriage laws that don’t discriminate, limiting foreign military entanglements, strict separation of church and state and expanding a range of other civil liberties.

    I almost always vote for some third party candidate just in the vain hope that it will help break the stranglehold of the two “main” parties.

  27. 27
    canadiansteve

    One thing that the “tax cuts create growth” crowd keep ignoring is that the mechanism by which this is supposed to happen has been destroyed my the downturn in consumer demand.

    Corporate North America is awash in dead money – money that could be used for growth if the potential for growth was there. All tax cuts do is add to this pool of dead capital.

    What is really needed is a use it or lose it tax – get this pool of money moving into the economy instead of sitting in safe havens. The idea of a financial transfer tax (like the one being considered in Europe) also could help with this.

  28. 28
    democommie

    “I can’t get over the fact that in the U.S. you can deduct your mortgage interest from your taxes. It’s like looking over the fence from Canada and seeing a completely alien world.

    Envy. That’s what I’m feeling. :)”

    So, the average person gets to deduct their mortgage interest from their taxable income, not their taxes–same thing with charitable donations (although lots of those “charities” are KKKristian and LSD Moron social clubs)–it’s not a dollar for dollar thing. If your taxable income goes down by, say, 20% because of deductions you pay less in taxes, but not as much as you’ve spent on interest or donations. Simple fact.

    What I have a hard time getting a handle on is why people who’ve worked their asses off and made a decent life for themselves can’t understand that a single payer healthcare system will make them less likely to go tits up the next time that they or someone in their family has a major health crisis. If they did the whole “Obamacare” thing would be laughable–for its transparent inadequacy.

    People who genuinely believe what lying sacks-of-shit say in canned “debates” are just fucking delusional; the rest who don’t–yet insist that they do–just want to be lied to.

  29. 29
    Modusoperandi

    democommie “What I have a hard time getting a handle on is why people who’ve worked their asses off and made a decent life for themselves can’t understand that a single payer healthcare system will make them less likely to go tits up the next time that they or someone in their family has a major health crisis.”
    1. That’s socialism.*
    2. Universal Healthcare helps people/groups I don’t like.
    3. Bad things happen to bad people. Good things happen to good people. Like me.

    * SOCIALISM!!!

  30. 30
    shripathikamath

    Look, when Mitt is trotting out the nonsensical “trickle down government” in anticipatory defense against the “trickle down economics” from Obama that never came, does it really matter how he is obfuscating a subtle scheme with the 20% cut + elimination of deductions worth 20%?

    But here it is: Everybody gets a 20% cut. Sure that makes everyone happy. But we have a revenue problem. Forget the smoke-screen of the trickle down economics. The game-plan is in plain view.

    The middle class gets a 20% cut, and elimination of deductions (worth very close to 20%) so that the net cut is basically zero.

    How about the rich?

    They too get a 20% cut. But the rich do not use that many deductions to begin with. So they get the benefit of keeping most of their cuts. Because there are far fewer deductions to eliminate.

    The differential is how he ends up giving a cut, but only for the rich. This is another reason he has not divulged which loopholes he’d eliminate.

    I am beginning to think that Obama had a reason for not bringing up the 47% remarks yesterday: http://bit.ly/PCVKim

  31. 31
    =8)-DX

    I’m completely baffled why anyone in the US would want to *increase* defense spending. I mean you guys have just been through two bloody and expensive wars, surely it’s time to cut the costs down until the next time the “global policeman” is needed? Or is this supposed to be anticipatory ramping up of costs before a war with Iran?

    – confused European =8)-DX

  32. 32
    eric

    “Our individual income taxes are ones I want to reform, make them simpler.

    So, let’s assume this will work. What is the result? On average, people will pay basically the same amount in taxes that they do now. And there will be a lot of tax preparers, tax consultants, and tax attorneys out of a job, because with a simpler system, not as many people will need them.

    Now, I’m not really wailing over that. In the grand scheme of things I support simplification. But you’d think that in instance, with this candidate and with all the hype about job creation, he wouldn’t want to propose a change to the tax code that actively reduces jobs.

    If you cut out the deduction for mortgage interest, it might well make it more difficult for the housing market to recover by diminishing the incentive to buy rather than rent a house. If you cut out the deduction for charitable contributions, you could cause serious damage to non-profit organizations that provide important services. The point is that there are always tradeoffs that need to be considered.

    Hmmm…I could be wrong but I thought Romney said that the three deductions he wouldn’t cut were mortgage, charitable, and medical.

    This made be immediately stop paying attention to his plan. Since those comprise a big chunk of deductions, it makes his plan (even more) laughably unworkable. Its sort of like saying you’re going to reduce government spending without touching defense or the mandatory programs (another politically common howler).

  33. 33
    democommie

    I’m sorry, the foam in my previous rant–or maybe it was in the beer–prevented me from seeing the other bit of low hanging fruit re: cutting taxes.

    I have been listening to loyal republicans* during every election cycle (and, to be honest, between them, as well) since I got old enough to listen rail about federal income taxes and I’ve been listening to complain about state and local taxes going up for the same period of time. They don’t seem to understand that the guys in D.C. (the heroes whom they have elected on a single issue–reducing taxes, in many cases)can only do that at the FEDERAL level. Curiously, since those legislazers are looking to get themselves re-elected they don’t offer to cut any of the programs that are popular with THEIR constituents. They do, however, often create umfunded federal mandates and gosh, where do you think the revenues to support those programs come from?

    @31:

    It’s sooooooooo 20th century to wait until you HAVE a war to increase military spending. The new paradigm, following the best practices model is to “create the market”; ‘sides, we have ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.

    * You know, morons.

  34. 34
    eric

    I’m completely baffled why anyone in the US would want to *increase* defense spending.

    Defense is the one federal jobs program conservatives will accept. Heaven help us if anyone suggests the feds hire defense attorneys, more accountants, etc… but soldiers? Entirely acceptable.

    Due to mission creep, DOD has also traditionally been the single largest US funder of applied science, research and development (and possibly manufacturing) in the marketplace. They used to be THE biggest funder of R&D, across the board, no exceptions. But in the last ten years or so, all private sector spending combined has begn to outpace DOD’s spending in biotech. Let that sink in for a bit, and you’ll realize just how big that means they are.

    Now, what this means economically is that if you cut DOD spending, you must do one of two things. Either you must cut a whole host of industrial, research, and development jobs and work that normal people would not typically think of as “defense.” Or (2) you have to add money to other federal agencies (like NSF) to make up for the differnce, essentially shifting some of the funding responsibilities that creeped into DOD back to other departments. This will not actualy result in any cost savings, and will tick off conservatives and the military, so its probably a political non-starter.

    So, the TL:DR version is – DOD spending covers a lot more stuff than what normal people think of as defense.

    ***

    Of course, a more amusing (but somewhat true) answer is that the US is sort of like the ex-marine in Highlander. “Got me a trunk load of shotguns. I got three big-bore battle rifles…ammo up the ass…and I ain’t safe! I can’t protect myself!”

  35. 35
    twincats

    Libertarians are usually for legalizing drugs, marriage laws that don’t discriminate, limiting foreign military entanglements, strict separation of church and state and expanding a range of other civil liberties.

    You have to be careful, though; too many* Libertarians are willing to take away a woman’s bodily autonomy (in order to appeal to social conservatives??) like Ron/Rand Paul.

    *Even if it is “only” Ron and Rand Paul, that’s two too many because it makes me uneasy due to the appeal of some of their other views for progressives.

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