GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know Democrats are going to be wanting to get much more detail from you on how youíre going to pay for your tax cuts. Weíve heard that at the Democratic Convention. President Clinton said your math doesnít work. I know you dispute what President Clinton said and what the Democrats that say that youíre going to have a $2,000 tax hike on middleclass families. I know you dispute that. You cite your own studies. But one of the studies you cite by Martin Feldstein at Harvard shows that to make your math work, it could work, if you eliminate the home mortgage, charity, and state and local tax deductions for everyone earning over $100,000. Is that what you propose?
MITT ROMNEY: No, thatís not what I propose. And, of course, part of my plan is to stimulate economic growth. The biggest source of getting the country to a balanced budget is not by raising taxes or by cutting spending. Itís by encouraging the growth of the economy. So my tax plan is to encourage investment in growth in America, more jobs, that means more people paying taxes. So thatís a big component of what allows us to get to a balanced budget.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But his study, which youíve cited, says it can only work if you take away those deductions for everyone earning more than $100,000.
MITT ROMNEY: Well, it doesnít necessarily show the same growth that weíre anticipating. And I havenít seen his precise study. But I can tell you that we can lower our ratesĖ
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you cited the study, though.
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I said that there are five different studies that point out that we can get to a balanced budget without raising taxes on middle income people. Let me tell you, George, the fundamentals of my tax policy are these. Number one, reduce tax burdens on middle-income people. So no one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.
So number one, donít reduceĖ or excuse me, donít raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them. Number two, donít reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest. The top 5% will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today. Thatís principle one, principle two. Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs. And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now.