Mitt Romney yesterday traveled to Iowa, where he decried the “prairie fire of debt” that President Obama has supposedly allowed to engulf the nation. But Romney neglected to mention that his own economic plan would add $10.7 trillion to the debt, reducing federal revenue to just 15 percent of GDP.
As the Associated Press reported today, “Romney’s tax and spending plans don’t support his vow to dampen the debt fire.” But don’t tell that to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who said to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that Romney’s tax plan won’t blow up the deficit:
SCARBOROUGH: So you talk about Mitt Romney talking about how he’s going to be responsible. You look at Mitt Romney’s plans, though, you add them all up, the deficit goes up as much under Mitt Romney as it does under Barack Obama. You know, if you look at their plans, there’s not a big difference.
RYAN: Oh, there’s a huge difference. Are you kidding me?
SCARBOROUGH: At the end of the day Paul, how much is the national debt going to be reduced under Mitt Romney’s tax plans and spending plans?
RYAN: So, under Mitt Romney’s tax plan, he’s keeping revenues where they historically have been, which they actually rise from where they are now, just like our budget does.
But Romney has simply asserted that his tax plan will be deficit neutral, because he will limit tax deductions for the richest Americans, without laying out any way to actually achieve that end. He’s even admitted that this rather relevant part of his plan is missing.
And he hasn’t laid out the spending plans that would supposedly cut the deficit either. As the AP put it, “the closest [Romney] has come to laying out a specific spending plan has been in his endorsement of the budget blueprint passed this year by House Republicans, which also fails to produce his promised deficit reductions.”
Even if Romney actually followed through on his pledge to limits deductions for the rich, he would need 6.5 percent economic growth for the next five years to keep his tax plan from adding to the deficit. The best five-year period of growth since World War II was from 1961 to 1966, when the economy grew at 5.8 percent per year, meaning Romney would have to see the greatest growth of the post-war period simply to keep his tax plan out of the red.
Of course, this is just par for the course for Ryan, who pulled the same trick with the House Republican budget, pledging to close tax loopholes and limit deductions, but refusing to give any specifics.