Hume: Obama camp's 'invalid' portrayal of Romney tax plan

Truth behind Mitt Romney's proposals


A favorite talking point of the Obama campaign is that Mitt Romney's economic proposals would simply reinstate the same tax cut and deregulation policies that led to the 2008 financial meltdown. Two things should be said about this claim. One is that it has gone unanswered by the Romney camp and the second is that it is utterly invalid.

The tax cuts put in place under President Bush in 2001 and 2003 cannot be blamed for the mortgage market collapse that triggered the great recession. In fact, they can be credited with helping the economy out of the recession of 2001-2002 and with overcoming the later economic damage from Hurricane Katrina. And by the way, that expansion and the tax revenues it produced were sufficient to drive down the federal budget deficit for three years in a row -- 2005 through 2007. This despite massive war spending.

As for deregulation, President Obama himself has said that former President Bush put more regulations in place than he has in the same time frame. It is true that there is one bit of deregulation regularly blamed by liberal economists for helping create the speculative bubble that led to the financial crisis and the great recesssion. That was the lifting of the legal barrier between commercial and investment banking. But that barrier was lifted in 1999 in a bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton.