All News & Blogs
A worker washes windows Tuesday outside the site of tonight's presidential debate at the University of Denver.
Charlie Neibergall/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 10/3/2012
DENVER--Offering deficit-cutting ideas before his first debate with President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney says he might be willing to reduce income tax deductions used by millions of families for home mortgage interest and health care costs
He suggested the changes could be part of a plan that includes a 20 percent cut in tax rates across the board, continuation of upper-income tax cuts that Obama wants to end and a comprehensive tax overhaul plan that the Republican presidential contender has so far declined to flesh out in detail. Romney says his overall plans would invigorate the slowly recovering U.S. economy.
Both Romney and Obama spent their time mostly in private on Tuesday, preparing for the debate, the president in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas, Romney already in Denver where the faceoff will take place tonight at 9 p.m. EDT. Neither held public campaign events, but Obama took a break from preparation to visit nearby Hoover Dam, and Romney picked up lunch at a Chipotle Mexican Grill near his hotel.
In an interview Monday night with Denver TV station KDVR, Romney said, "As an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction. And you could use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others--your health care deduction--and you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket, that way. And higher-income people might have a lower number."
A Romney adviser said changes in other areas--a taxpayer's personal exemption and the deduction or credit for health care--would also be taken into account if deductions were limited as Romney suggested. Combining changes to those two areas with the limit on deductions would maintain Romney's goal of keeping tax burdens the same for wealthy and middle-income taxpayers, the adviser said.
On another controversial subject, in a separate local interview ahead of the debate, Romney told The Denver Post that he would honor the temporary permission the Obama administration has granted to many young illegal immigrants to allow them to stay in the country.
Obama announced in June that he would prevent deportation for some children brought to the United States by illegal immigrant parents. Applicants must not have a serious criminal record and must meet other requirements, such as graduating from high school or serving in the U.S. military.