So what I’m suggesting is that Romney put together specific examples of lower family tax rates and higher take-home pay. Specific examples. Put all those Harvard PhDs in the Boston headquarters to work. They can do it to the penny. I’m just roughing it out here in broad strokes, using work from my friends Jim Pethokoukis and Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
It’s really that simple. Talk up tax cuts and connect them to Main Street families in terms of the after-tax dollars and cents they understand. Higher take-home pay. More financial security. More jobs. Repeat these over and over. And then add meat to the bones.
For example, tell middle-class earners that their tax deductions will not be eliminated, or even limited. Reassure them. Take the Obama argument away: more take-home pay and no end to the child tax credit or other significant deductions.
And then circle back to the top tax rates, the Obama class-warfare tax rates, and say, “Look, in return for marginal tax-rate reduction, which will add investment and small-business incentives, we are going to limit and then eliminate a variety of tax deductions that you won’t need at the ultra-low 28 percent top rate.” If I were Governor Romney, I would mention a few, like the mortgage deduction, or the deductions for state and local taxes or interest-free municipal bonds.
And if Romney doesn’t want to go that far, he can state that all tax deductions are on the table in return for your lower tax rate. This is pro-growth. It’s fair. And it’s something most folks can understand.
The moral of this story is nice and simple: middle-class tax cuts, higher take-home pay, more prosperity, more jobs.
Reagan made it that clear. Romney can do the same.
Larry Kudlow is the host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.”