Brown Continues To Hit Warren On Taxes

Sen. Scott Brown is continuing to try to paint his Democratic rival, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, as someone who would vote to raise taxes.

At a factory in Roxbury where he was receiving the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Brown on Wednesday criticized a series of measures he says Warren supports.

"There's two different ways of looking at things, whether we take the health care bill, which she's looking to obviously have implemented, and the 18 new taxes, plus the half trillion of new Medicare cuts, or the $3.4 trillion of new taxes proposed, and a lot of the things that she's put out," Brown said.

Republicans often repeat that the national health care law takes $500 billion out of Medicare. Democrats counter that over the years, Medicare will spend about $500 billion less because, thanks the law, health care will cost less.

Warren disputes that she has proposed $3.4 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years.

Brown's campaign has provided a list that does add up to that amount.

The biggest tax increase, $1 trillion, would come from eliminating the cap on income taxes by Social Security. At the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce last November, Warren offered that the problems with funding Social Security could be funded by eliminating that cap. The Congressional Research Service has calculated that eliminating the cap would raise $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

The second-biggest tax increase Brown accuses Warren of supporting is an increase in the tax on dividends and capital gains. At Florian Hall in Dorchester in January, Warren said: "The notion that people who can make money through investments rather than who work for a living should be taxed at a ... smaller rate is just wrong."

The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that raising the rate on dividends and capital gains would bring in an additional $913 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.

Update at 6 p.m.: Though she had said that Social Security could be funded by eliminating the payroll tax cap, the Warren campaign says she does not support eliminating the cap on income for Social Security taxes.

The Warren campaign also says she supports raising capital gains and interest taxes to 20 percent, but only for income above $250,000. The campaign cites a report from the White House Office of Management and Budget claiming that eliminating all the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000 would bring in $848 billion in additional revenue.

This program aired on August 15, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.