2012 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney today is test driving a new tactic against Texas Gov. Rick Perry, accusing Perry of being insufficiently concerned with the nation’s deficit. “If Rick Perry thinks deficits don’t matter, then he’s no different than President Obama. Deficits matter,” said Lanhee Chen, policy director for Romney for President, said in a press release. “His opinion shouldn’t surprise anyone, though — in Texas, Governor Perry covered up his massive budget deficit with billions of dollars from the very same Obama stimulus he claimed to oppose.”
Romney is absolutely right that Perry mismanaged Texas’ finances and used the Recovery Act to balance his budget. But if Romney is so concerned about the deficit, his own economic plan should be keeping him up at night. After all, as Center for American Progress Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden found, Romney’s plan would blow a big hole in the federal budget:
[Romney’s plan] would result in federal revenue averaging just 16.7 percent of gross domestic product. That’s far below the 20 percent of GDP that Romney says he wants to spend (though, of course, he neglected to lay out what he would cut to get there). It’s even below the levels suggested by House Republican Budget, which abolished Medicare as we know it, slashed Medicaid, and still didn’t balance the budget until 2040.
Taken together, Romney’s fiscal policies would be even worse than the House Budget. His spending levels are the same — though he provides few details as to what he would cut to accomplish this — but his revenue levels are even lower. The result would be continued unsustainable deficits and more debt. In fact, Romney’s plan would yield approximately $6.5 trillion in deficits from 2013 through 2021.
Romney’s plan is a huge giveaway to the wealthy and corporations. And it would cause the very problem that Romney is claiming to care so deeply about to grow significantly worse.