Back in 2002, a spokesman for former Gov. Mitt Romney (R), a current GOP presidential hopeful, derided an anti-tax pledge as “government by gimmickry.” But Romney is evidently okay with gimmickry now, as he signed the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge last week.
Not through with putting his John Hancock on cockamamie pledges, Romney today signed the right-wing “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge that is being pushed by a host of conservative organizations and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). Among other things, the pledge demands that the nation’s debt ceiling not be raised without congressional approval of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution:
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) said Wednesday that he supports a pledge put forth by some congressional Republicans and conservative groups calling for significant spending cuts and caps as well as a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in exchange for a vote this summer to raise the country’s debt ceiling.
“I am for cut, cap and balance,” Romney told reporters after a Capitol Hill meeting with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), according to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tommy Burr.
In addition to calling for the U.S. to default on its debt unless Congress approves a balance budget amendment (which is totally unrealistic as well as economically bone-headed), the pledge also calls for caps on federal spending. Romney has voiced support for such caps before before, and as I noted here, they would be terribly destructive and force deep cuts to important government programs, without even resulting in a balanced budget.
As Judd Legum noted today, even the radical House Republican budget authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) wouldn’t pass muster under the balanced budget amendment. That Romney is willing to risk the economic meltdown that could occur if the U.S. defaults on its debt in order to pander to DeMint and his conservative allies is quite distressing.