Mitt Romney has recently (and correctly) implied that spending cuts harm economic growth:
"If you just cut, [said Romney] if all you're thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you'll slow down the economy," he said in part of his response. "So you have to, at the same time, create pro-growth tax policies."Which leads me to wonder why Mitt Ronmeny's economic plan is largely spending cuts:
[Romney] has pledged to cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP. He has pledged to cut taxes to about 17 percent of GDP. He has pledged to a floor on defense spending at 4 percent of GDP. And he has pledged to balance the budget.I think it is fairly clear that the logic behind Mitt Romney's candidacy is tautological; Mitt Romney wants you to vote for him to be President because he wants to be President. I hope I've been unequivocal in that I find the current field of candidates for the Republican party's Presidential nomination to be a callow lot. My contempt of Mr. Romney, however, is accentuated by the fact that it is clear to me that he knows better.
So let’s add it all up: Romney has to cut federal spending down to 17 percent of GDP. Federal spending is currently at 24 percent of GDP, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts that it will be around 22 percent for the next decade. For comparison’s sake, Paul Ryan’s budget would keep spending above 20 percent of GDP for at least the next 20 years.
That’s a lot of numbers, so here’s the bottom line: Romney is proposing to cut more than twice as much from the budget as Ryan. And Ryan’s budget, as you’ll remember, was already quite austere.