27 May 2012

Romney disavows Republican economics

So the logic behind the entire Republican austerity program is that taxation and government spending (redistribution, to use the buzzword I know all y'all hate so much) makes the economy less efficient, causes it to slow down, right?

The solution to the economy is to cut government spending? This is what we've heard over and over again?

Here's a transcript of Mark Halperin's recent interview with Mitt Romney.

The whole thing is worth reading as a rhetorical exercise, just for the amazing doublespeak, but there's one question and answer that I want to copy and paste here:
Halperin: I want to get to a lot of those, and let’s go to spending, which is a big thing for you, one of the bases of comparison – you say you’d cut spending a lot more than the President has.  And like most governors I know, you can get down in the detail.  A lot of people don’t know that about you; you can really get your arms around a policy issue and go deep, so let’s talk about spending.  You have a plan, as you said, over a number of years, to reduce spending dramatically.  Why not in the first year, if you’re elected — why not in 2013, go all the way and propose the kind of budget with spending restraints, that you’d like to see after four years in office?  Why not do it more quickly?

Romney: Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%.  That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression.  So I’m not going to do that, of course.  What you do is you make adjustments on a basis that show, in the first year, actions that over time get you to a balanced budget.  So I’m not saying I’m going to come up with ideas five or ten years from now that get us to a balanced budget.  Instead I’m going to take action immediately by eliminating programs like Obamacare, which become more and more expensive down the road – by eliminating them, we get to a balanced budget.  And I’d do it in a way that does not have a huge reduction in the first year, but instead has an increasing reduction as time goes on, and given the growth of the economy, you don’t have a reduction in the overall scale of the GDP.  I don’t want to have us go into a recession in order to balance the budget.  I’d like to have us have high rates of growth at the same time we bring down federal spending, on, if you will, a ramp that’s affordable, but that does not cause us to enter into a economic decline.
"Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I'm not going to do that, of course."

Even ignoring the stupid, stupid math Romney's employing to talk about the ACA, and the amazing vagueness of his answer, yeah, he just completely admitted that, for him, cutting government spending doesn't immediately help the economy in the way that the Republicans have been saying it does.

All y'all have a good Sunday.

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