Mitt Romney detailed with fresh specificity this week how he would pay for large tax cuts he's proposed for all Americans, though his campaign says the suggestions were merely options and not a firm look into what policies he would seek to enact as president.
In the interview with CNN affiliate KDVR on Monday, Romney began by offering the broad strokes of his tax plan that he's been touting for months: lowering rates for all Americans and limiting deductions for higher income tax payers.
Pressed for more specifics, Romney detailed a plan which would cap tax deductions at $17,000.
"You could do something, for instance, as an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction, and you can use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others - a healthcare 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," Romney said.
Those details are the first time the candidate has suggested such a plan, though in the interview with KDVR he did not specifically say he would push for such a measure as president.
He also offered another option he said could be achieved with Congress.
"You could do it by the same method that Bowles-Simpson did it which is limiting certain deductions, but that's the sort of thing you do with Congress," Romney said. "The key thing is bring down rates, broaden the base to encourage small business to hire more people."
Asked whether Romney was revealing a new part of his tax plan, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said the GOP nominee was offering only an example of how he would achieve his goals of cutting taxes on middle class Americans.
"Governor Romney's tax reform plan will jumpstart economic growth, cut the tax burden on the middle-class, and lower tax rates across-the-board," Henneberg wrote. "He will pursue revenue and distributional-neutrality in reforming the tax code. There are a range of policy options, and Gov. Romney referenced one illustrative example, to achieve these goals."
Romney's tax plan calls for 20% cuts to current Bush-era income tax rates, a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax, and a move to make investment income tax free for those earning less than $200,000.