The Rachel Maddow Show | May 25, 2012
>>> this is the garage at mitt romney 's home and there are big plans for it including a sophisticated car elevator called the phantom park that will take his cars and lower them into a 3,600 foot basement. tonight, we talk to the man that's going to make that happen. it lowers into a subterranean garage.
>> it looks like a regular garage floor. when you hit the button, a whole other car comes up.
>> infrared lights that surround this is an option. if someone comes too close, it will shut down.
>> reporter: brad davies created it.
>> we installed one in london, norway.
>> reporter: clients included harrison ford and britney spears . first, mitt romney will bulldoze the home and build one that's 11,000 square feet . plans we toelld you about in november. the basement alone, 3600 square pet feet. it will have one of these. to store his cars.
>> being president of the united states is not exactly a blue collar job. mitt romney is a different breed of cat. his net worth is more than the last eight presidents combined. his wealth is nothing bad. it's just a fact about him. it is a strategic conondrum, how to keep him relatable. they're not going to change who mr. romney is but given his own megawealth, how he talks about the issue of wealth and who has money and who doesn't is an important and sensitive subject for that campaign.
>> i'm not concerned about the very poor. rick, i'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet.
>> i'm not in the betting business.
>> i drive a mustang and a chevy pickup truck. i like being able to fire people that provide services to me.
>> he said in an interview today that he regrets saying that last one. yeah, you can see why he might regret that. if he's trying to appeal to voters who aren't rich like him and maybe on the lower end of the economic spectrum . he would be the wealthiest president in modern history , his economic plan would raise taxes on poor people on purpose. it could single them out on purpose. on average households making less than $20,000 would see their taxes increase by more than 0%. medi people making more than a million dollars would get tax cuts averaging 15%, and it's on purpose. it's not an unintended consequence.
>> i think it's a real problem when you have half of americans that are not paying income tax .
>> that's the real problem. the problem he is trying to fix when it comes to poor people in america is that they have too much money and the government should take some of their money away. it's a real problem. this is the thing in republican politics right now. it sounds crazy. the problem with poor people is they have too much money so government has to fix that by basici in taking money away from the poorest people in the country. this is a thing right now among republicans .
>> i think it's abysmal that the bottom 51% do not pay income taxe taxes.
>> republicans are anti-tax except that aren't. they are proraising taxes on people that have the least pun. they are not ignoring them, they are raising their taxes on purpose. i'm not sure democrats are aware this is happening. everywhere that republicans have control and can set policy, they're not talking this way, they are acting on this. earlier this year republicans this south carolina introduced their tax reform bill . it would raise taxes on the poorest families in south carolina and cut taxes for people who will are well off because poor people have it too easy. after the republican takeover in wisconsin, scott walker enters a budget to cut taxes for everybody in the state except for poor people . scott walker 's budget would raise taxes on the poorest people in wisconsin. this week in kansas, that state's republican governor signed a bill into law that cuts taxes for the richest people in the state and raises taxes on poor people . this is amazing. the republican party has this anti-tax reputation but they are only pursuing that for rich people . you would they are ignoring people, but they're not. they are seeking out ways to make poor people more poor using the tax code . joining us now is ezra cline. it's great to see you.
>> good evening.
>> i wanted to talk to you about this because i feel like i need a wonk check. is there some kwaquantitative analysis.
>> if you don't have poor people paying income tax , they will want to vote themselves larger and larger shares of government spending because they won't be paying for it. they will see government benefits as free and say we want more medicare, medicaid and food stamps . it's a political economy viewpoint. i think it's important to say it isn't true. when they keep saying income taxes most poor people , the main taxes they pay are payroll taxes . the taxes go to fund social security and medicare. beyond that, topeka, kansas pays state and local taxes. poor people and middle class pay large amounts of taxes, the income tax is the one primarily progressive tax we have in this nation. when you only focus in on that, you have taken out the taxes that poor people pay.
>> all of these republican legislatures, not everybody, but just about everybody, it's a rounding error to consider who hasn't sworn a blood oath to grover norquist that he or she will never raise taxes on anyone. is there an asterisk in the no tax pledge that says it's cool if you're raising taxes on poor people . why aren't they calling for the republicans heads for raising taxes ?
>> they're not that pure. in his defense, he tends to be quite consistent. he will say, it's not good if you let the payroll tax cut expire. what romney is attempting to do is let some of the stimulus provisions that help out people. he's fairly consistent here. it's more generally republicans who when they talk about what they want to do on taxes. what they really want to do, the way they see the economy is they want to lower taxes on richer folks. the folks they think of as job creators that will unlock some dramatic amount of economic potential. it's important to say there's no economic evidence in that happens and more to the point, we ran a very large experiment on this in 200 when the bush tax cuts cake into effect which is part of the reason poor people don't pay as many income taxes . it did not work. we did not have a wonderful decade of economic growth . it hasn't done anything to undermine this theory in republican circles.
>> what you're just describing there in terms of their philosophy people in terms of rich people , i feel like we're having a debate about that. i feel like democrats are in denial that it's impossible that republicans will consider it. here on the friday before memorial day , we will launch the national discussion, you and i.
>> it's never going to be the same.
>> exactly. have a great weekend. thanks for being with us.
>>> still to come, the wizard of oz has campaign advice. plus we have a cocktail