Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie was caught off guard Wednesday when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him how long Romney’s budget proposal would take to balance the national budget:
BLITZER: How many years would it take for the Romney budget to result in a balanced budget?
GILLESPIE: Uh…Wolf, I’m not sure of that myself, actually. I’ll get that to you though and I’m sure it’s on our website. I should know it and I’m embarrassed on your air that I don’t have that number at the top of my head. I didn’t know we were going to talk about that today. I apologize. I should have prepared for that question. I didn’t know you were going to ask.
Gillespie didn’t have the number on hand because, as Romney himself said in March, his budget plan “can’t be scored” and is missing key details about which deductions it would eliminate. Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan failed to answer the same question a day earlier, telling Fox News’ Brit Hume, “I don’t know exactly what the balance is. I don’t want to get wonky on you, but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan.” In sum, Romney’s plan is “mathematically impossible.”
The Romney budget requires even harsher cuts in entitlement programs than Ryan’s radical House-endorsed plan. Ten-year cuts in spending would range from one-third deeper than those in the Ryan budget to almost twice as deep as the Ryan cuts, with potentially disastrous consequences for low-income and middle class Americans — including taking food stamps away from as many as 13 million people.