Decoding Romney’s platform

I honestly have no idea what Mitt Romney will do as President. Who will show up on day 1? The self-described “severe conservative” from the primaries or the moderate from the debates? I really have no idea what this guy stands for.

I looked at the spending page on his web site to try to learn more about his platform. A few things stood out to me:

Reduce Waste And Fraud — Savings: $60 Billion. The federal government made $125 billion in improper payments last year. Cutting that amount in half through stricter enforcement and harsher penalties yields returns many times over on the investment.

This is confusing to me. If you know that $125B of the payments you made were improper (you’d have to know which payments in order to get that number), why wouldn’t you cut that amount to zero? What are these payments? Who’s getting paid? What?

His plan to cap federal spending at 20% of GDP says this:

Requires spending cuts of approximately $500 billion per year in 2016 assuming robust economic recovery with 4% annual growth, and reversal of irresponsible Obama-era defense cuts

GDP growth hasn’t been at 4% in about 13 years (source). Why you would assume Clinton-era growth in this economic climate is beyond me.

The bigger issue is that he seems to promise all these things (20% tax cut, increased military spending) without calling out what he’s going to cut to balance the books. When asked this in the debate, he brought up PBS (0.0012% of the federal budget). There are two possible reasons for not telling us what he’ll cut: either he doesn’t know (thus his assurances of balancing the budget are meaningless) or he doesn’t think we’ll vote for him if he tells us. Could be both.

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3 Responses to “Decoding Romney’s platform”

  1. Chris says:

    I can solve all your problems, immediately, without any issues!
    How do you plan to do that?
    I’ll talk to people, both democrats and republicans!
    But what is your actual plan?
    Jobs, creating jobs and energy independence by 2020!

    Ignore the details, that can wait till after election day. People are impatient. With the advent of the internet, and technology, we can get anything we want whenever we want. Things are getting better, but they aren’t getting better quickly enough. My feeling is that if you want to done right away, you’ll just end up reliving the same problems. We don’t want another bubble of any kind. Slow and steady wins in the end but doesn’t make good political points.

  2. Peyton says:

    I like this post.

    On the other side — after speaking to my parents today; they agree that Romney’s platform is hogwash. However, they feel that he is only saying these things to get elected (which, to them, is a good thing). They are voting on what they perceive to be Obama’s failed economic policies, and the “hope” for Romney’s change. As Clinton once famously said: “It’s the economy, stupid”.

  3. Ted Mielczarek says:

    I hate how you can pretend to run on a platform where balancing the budget is the most important thing, and then in the same breath say you’re going to actually increase defense spending, which is actually a huge percentage of the budget. It’s just so ridiculous!

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