Mitt Romney couldn’t substantially distinguish his economic policies from former President George W. Bush’s during an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams on Wednesday, saying only that he would “take action to get America on track to have a balanced budget.” Bush increased the national debt by trillions of dollars.
Rather than detailing specific differences with the former Republican president — whose deregulatory policies and massive tax cuts have been blamed for the nation’s current economic recession — Romney described his economic approach with his standard to his four-part talking points:
WILLIAMS: And let’s talk about domestic — the economy before we wrap things up. The major planks of your job plan, lower taxes, both corporate and marginal rates, and reduce regulation. Explain how that would be different from what George W. Bush tried to push through?
ROMNEY: Well, let me describe — actually, there are five things that I believe are necessary to get this economy going. One, take advantage of our energy resources, particularly natural gas, but also coal, oil, nuclear, renewables. That’s number one. A huge opportunity for us, and doing so is gonna bring manufacturing back, because low-cost, plentiful energy is key to manufacturing, in many industries.
Number two, trade. I want tre — to dramatically increase trade and particularly with — with Latin America. Number three, take action to get America on track to have a balanced budget. Now those three things, by the way, are things which we have not been doing over the last few years, which I think are essential to getting this economy going again.
Number four, we’ve got to show better training and education opportunities for our current re — workers and for coming workers. And then finally what I call restoring economic freedom. That means keep our taxes as low as possible, have regulations modern and up to date, get health care costs down. These things will restore economic freedom.
So my policies are very different than anything you’ve seen in the past. They’re really designed for an America which has some new resources, energy being one of them, trade with Latin America being another, and the need for a balanced budget now more urgent than ever before.
Indeed, Romney’s economic advisers are comprised of Bush’s old team, and his policies would double down on Bush’s failed economic approach.
In April, Alexandra Franceschi, Specialty Media Press Secretary of the Republican National Committee, argued that Romney’s policies are like the “policies of the Bush administration…just updated” — and in some cases they’re even worse. For instance, Romney’s tax cut plan is four times larger than Bush’s, more heavily weighted to benefit the ultra wealthy and he opposes increasing the minimum wage. Romney also supports turning Medicare into a voucher program for future retirees, while Bush enacted a historic expansion of the Medicare program.