Mitt Romney on Deficits and Debt
Governor Romney approaches the deficit and debt crisis from a spending standpoint. He does not belief that the government needs to take in more money, but that it needs to simplify it's tax system and reform entitlement spending.
During a 2010 speech, Governor Romney stated that baby boomers ran the risk of being labeled the "worst generation" after granting themselves large entitlements and then passing the cost of those entitlements onto the next generation. In 2011, Governor Romney wrote an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel applauding the TEA party movement to reduce the size of government. He cited the 2009 Stimulus, Obamacare, and obligations to social security and medicaid as items that need to be fundamentally reformed to bring spending under control.
The focus on entitlement spending control was continued as Governor Romney reacted to a speech by President Obama on the deficit by stating that even the President's own deficit commission cited entitlement reform as the primary item to be addressed when reducing spending. He was critical of President Obama's "tax the rich" tactic. In a Manchester, New Hampshire town hall, governor Romney noted that 20% of spending is discretionary, 20% is military, and 60% is entitlement. He noted that without controlling the growth of these programs, the deficit and the debt cannot be controlled.
Governor Romney's campaign website statements from 2012 mirror this stated need to address entitlement reform to fix the debt. He notes the repeal of Obamacare and the reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as fundamental to fixing the debt crisis. Governor Romney also states that he will place a hard cap on federal spending. However, he does not pledge to balance the budget but rather to place the country on a path to a balanced budget.
The Believe in America plan that Governor Romney proposed as part of the 2012 presidential campain devoted a large portion to fiscal policy and addressing budgetary shortfalls. Governor Romney's plan consists of capping spending at 20% of GDP and cutting non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent. He expressed support for returning to spending levels of previous years. He also states that entitlement reform will reduce spending, but does not give specifics on that reform. He states that he will reduce the government workforce by 10% by hiring one person for every two that retire. He also calls for a balanced budget amendment.
In the 2012 primary, Governor Romney began to run ads that stated that the US government had a moral obligation not to spend more than it takes in.
In March of 2010, Governor Romney gave a speech in which he discussed the need to reform entitlements to address the looming spending problems and the national debt. He refered to those who put the entitlements in place and then failed to fund them as having the possibly of being remembered as the "worst generation."
I have a chapter in my book called "The Worst Generation?," my generation. We have put in place so many entitlements for ourselves, we have spent so much money, we have borrowed so much, we have nearly $70 trillion dollars of obligations, unfunded obligations, to us ... to the baby boomers ... and what I am doing is trying to find a way to reduce those things, not for me, but for your generation. The conservatives are trying to make sure that the young people that come behind us get to experience the American dream. I will be long gone before any of that debt is paid off, and the interest is truly paid off. I don't want to leave as my legacy ... I don't want to bequeth to the next generation these extraordinary burdens. Somehow, we've got to communicate to the young people of this generation that the liberals will keep on borrowing more money from the Chinese, and adding more and more obligations on them.
Rein in Government
On April 11, 2011 Governor Romney wrote an article in the Orlando Sentinel discussing the need to rein in government. He discusses the negative effects of large governments and possible remedies.
From Wrong to Dishonest
In April of 2011, Governor Romney wrote an opinion piece for the National Review Online in which he discussed President Obama's recent speech on the national debt. He states that the President was initially wrong on hissolution to the debt crisis, and then he was dishonest in how the problem could be addressed.
Manchester Town Hall
On June 3, 2011 Governor Romney held a town hall at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester, Governor Romney was asked what he would do to address the debt crisis in Washington (Comments at 26:20).
Believe in America
On September 6, 2011 Governor Romney proposed an economic plan entitled Believe in America. One section of that plan was devoted to fiscal policy. The governor noted the need for a balanced budget, a spending reduction, a reduction in the government work force, and a cap on spending.
New Hampshire Debate
In June of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Presidential debate in New Hampshire. He spoke about the need to lower spending before a deal is reached to raise the debt ceiling.
In August of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Republican debate in Ames, Iowa. He spoke about a number of steps that he would take to fix the economy.
TEA Party Debate
In September of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the TEA party debate for the Republican primary. He notes his support for a cut, cap, and balance plan.
CBS Foreign Policy Debate
In November of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the CBS foreign policy debate. He was asked about spending limits and he discusses his plan to cap spending at 20%.
2012 Campaign Website Statements