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Tax moves to make in November 2012

Making Obama, Romney tax plans add up

The brief bipartisan love fest prompted by the tragedy and destruction left in Hurricane Sandy's wake is over. It's back to the campaign trail in full force for both President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Obama at nuclear energy summit April 12 2010_White House photoThe two men and their vice presidential partners are focusing on the swing states that likely will decide who gets to sit in the Oval Office for four more or four new years.

As has been the case from the get-go, the economy is a key consideration.

And how Obama and Romney propose to pay for our country's economy, i.e., what's in their tax plans, is getting added scrutiny.

There have been myriad articles written about the Obama and Romney tax plans, including one by me and some in which I comment on the proposals (most recently in Investor's Business Daily and MarketPlace).

Many public policy groups and academicians also have taken a stab at the various tax proposals to see whether they really would do what Obama and Romney say.

Romney speaking_Romney-Ryan campaign photoNow it's your turn to show your tax policy prowess.

Dylan Matthews and Ezra Klein of The Washington Post have created interactive versions of the Obama and Romney tax plans in which you get to decide the policy specifics.

Basically, the newspaper wants you to make each candidate's tax plan add up.

With the online tax tool for the Romney proposal, you get to try to raise the $480 billion that the Tax Policy Center estimates the GOP candidate's plan will cost in 2015 by doing what Romney says he will do if elected: Limit or eliminate tax deductions and close loopholes.

The Post's calculator also lets you do something Romney insists he won't do: Raise taxes.

Romney revenue meter interactive via Washington PostClick on the image (or here) to access the Romney tax plan planner.

Obama's tax plan provides a slightly different task.

The newspaper's Obama online calculator requires you to help the president raise revenue not to pay for new tax cuts, but as part of the $4 trillion deficit reduction "Grand Bargain" that Obama has consistently advocated since last summer's debt ceiling fight.

Obama revenue meter interactive via Washington PostClick on the image (or here) to access the Obama tax plan planner.

Good luck.

Please share your results with me and the readers of the ol' blog by posting your suggestions for each plan in the comments.

And be sure to let the Obama and Romney camps know your recommendations before next Tuesday. It could make a difference!

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