Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

On ABC's "This Week" roundtable Sunday, Paul Krugman said Mitt Romney is exploiting a press that is ineffective at holding politicians accountable for lies.

"The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths," he said.

"I don’t know whether to blame [the debate moderator Jim] Lehrer or the president, but it was kind of amazing because Romney was not only saying things that are not true, he was saying things that his own campaign had previously said weren’t true,” said the economist and New York Times columnist.

Citing Romney's claims on taxes and preexisting conditions, Krugman said the Republican nominee showed "contempt for us by thinking the news media will not cover on me as long as they say forcefully I won."

Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie sought to discredit the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center after it concluded that Mitt Romney cannot keep his tax cuts deficit neutral simply by targeting loopholes for high incomes.

"There's one study that says that you can't -- that uses the word assume or assumption 68 times -- by a liberal think tank, and that's what [Robert] Gibbs and others point to," he said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said on "Fox News Sunday" that Mitt Romney will not cut taxes on the rich, and echoed his campaign's pledge to maintain the same burden on high incomes by closing tax loopholes.

"First of all, Governor Romney made it clear in the debate," she said, "that he is not going to lower the burden on upper income individuals. We all know, Chris, that upper income individuals rely more heavily on deductions."

She defended Romney's refusal to identify any tax credits or deductions he would eliminate, insisting he would sort that out with Congress after he's elected.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs conceded Sunday that Mitt Romney had a strong performance in the presidential debate but accused him of distorting the facts.

Governor Romney had a masterful theatrical performance just this past week, but the underpinnings and foundations of that performance were fundamentally dishonest.  Look, he walked away from the central tenet of his economic theory by saying he had no idea what the president was talking about.  Ten minutes after the debate, even his own staff is walking back his answers on health care and preexisting conditions.

So, look, I don’t want to take anything away from what I think, again, was a masterful, masterful performance by Governor Romney, but I don’t think Governor Romney’s positions have changed, and fundamentally, I don’t think the campaign has changed.

He said the man who showed up at the debate was "a clone that looked a lot like Mitt Romney that had walked away from fundamentally every position that he’d taken."

A new ad released Sunday by Mitt Romney battles the notion that his platform would cut taxes by $5 trillion, charging President Obama with seeking to "distort" his plan.

The spot accuses the president -- who bases his claim on a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center -- of "not telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s tax plan.’"

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) charged Mitt Romney with fibbing during the debate by claiming his platform does not include a $5 trillion tax cut.

"We saw Big Bird meet the big lie," he said.

Mitt Romney used to boast that his Massachusetts health care law should serve as a model for national health reform. After President Obama took that advice, and opposing the Affordable Care Act became an essential criterion for membership in the Republican Party, Romney executed a hairpin turn and began describing his reforms as uniquely suited to Massachusetts -- not the whole country -- if even that.

At the first presidential debate Wednesday night, he came full circle.

"What we did in Massachusetts is a model for the nation, state by state," he said.

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In repeatedly denying during Wednesday's night debate that his proposed 20 percent across-the-board tax cut would cut government revenues by $5 trillion over 10 years, Mitt Romney stopped short of providing his own figure for how much the proposal would cost the Treasury.

Asked by TPM what the accurate cost of Romney's tax rate cuts would be, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul dodged: "His tax reform proposal is revenue-neutral," she said.

So it has gone throughout the campaign. Neither Romney nor his campaign nor his economic advisers have ever specified the cost in lost revenue of his sweeping tax cut proposal.

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The automatic federal spending cuts scheduled to take effect early next year could result in the loss of over 1.4 million jobs in 2013, according to a new study (PDF) by Congress' nonpartisan policy analyst.

The $48 billion in defense spending cuts are projected to result in 907,000 fewer direct, indirect and induced jobs in government and the private sector next year, the Congressional Research Service report said. The $10.7 billion in Medicare reimbursement cuts to providers are projected to cost 500,000 jobs, less than half of which are direct losses, in 2013.

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Under pressure to provide more details about his tax reform proposal, Mitt Romney floated an idea Tuesday to help fill a revenue hole in his plan.

"As an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction; and you could use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others -- your healthcare deduction. And you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket that way," Romney told a Fox affiliate in Denver. "And higher income people might have a lower number."

In other words, cap the total amount individuals can benefit from tax loopholes.

But while some tax policy experts like the idea in principle it suffers from at least one big political problem: though it would hit high net-worth people hardest, it would still require raising taxes on some middle class Americans to cover the cost of his proposal to cut everyone's tax rates by 20 percent.

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