Lima, OH -- Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said Governor Mitt Romney would pay a higher federal tax rate under the Republicans' proposed income tax plan.
Ryan was asked specifically in a FOX Business interview if Romney would pay more than his most recently reported 14.1% effective tax rate under his new tax code. Ryan said "Yes. Starting with people in the top tax bracket, here's how it works: higher income people can use lots of tax shelters to shelter some of their income from taxation. Close those tax shelters, more of their income is subject to taxation. That allows us to lower tax rates for everybody."
A campaign spokesperson later added that "We have made clear throughout that the only person in this election that will raise taxes is President Obama. Paul Ryan was only confirming that to lower tax rates for all Americans, the Romney plan would curb preferences disproportionately enjoyed by higher income earners," said Brendan Buck, a Ryan spokesman.
Ryan and other House Republicans have refused to reveal which tax deductions they would curb or eliminate. They say they'll leave those decisions up to the normal congressional process.
Ryan also addressed comments his running mate made regarding the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes. The Wisconsin Republican rejected the idea that the statistic represented an increasing sense of entitlement among Americans. "More able-bodied people are dependent upon the government because they have no opportunities in this economy," said Ryan. "We should be measuring the success by how many people we transition from these programs back to self-sufficiency, back to work. And that is not what we're getting in the Obama presidency."
Recent polling shows the Republican challengers have been losing ground in key swing states, like Ohio. Some Republicans have suggested Ryan alter his campaign style with a more aggressive policy approach.
"I think we're going to be fine," Ryan said in response. "You know why? Because President Obama's not working."
Rich Edson joined the FOX Business Network as a Washington correspondent in October 2007.