Former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) has pegged his latest campaign push to deficits, taking a shot at Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) seeming disregard for balancing the country’s accounts. Today, Romney will be laying out a plan that he claims will cut $500 billion from the deficit in 2016; his biggest cut is block granting Medicaid, while pretending that repealing the Affordable Care Act saves money. Other than that, Romney’s “savings” come from favorite conservative bogeymen like Amtrak and the National Endowment for the Arts.
During an event in New Hampshire last night previewing today’s release of his plan, Romney explained that, in his view, reducing the deficit is “a moral responsibility“:
“We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in, we have a moral responsibility not to pass onto our kids the spending of our generation,” he said. “It is a moral responsibility to believe in fiscal responsibility. We do, and I do.”
However, if it’s a moral responsibility to reduce the deficit, Romney may need to spend some time in an ethics course. He envisions federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, but his tax plan, as we found, will raise less than 17 percent of GDP in revenue. As Michael Linden has explained, the result of Romney’s plan “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.”
The revenue Romney envisions is “below the levels suggested by the House Republican Budget, which abolished Medicare as we know it, slashed Medicaid, and still didn’t balance the budget until 2040.” Nibbling away at Amtrak subsidies and slashing health care spending for low-income Americans doesn’t change the fact that Romney’s plan lets the richest Americans avoid paying their fair share, resulting in loads of red ink.