Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered some concrete ideas in an interview with Fortune Magazine published Wednesday but was sparse on specifics regarding where he would cut the federal budget to achieve his stated goals.
Asked which cuts he would make to reach a spending cap of 20 percent GDP, instead of the current 24 percent, Romney rattled off only a few to the magazine.
"Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs — the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities," Romney said.
He added, "Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf."
Romney, whose campaign has been accused of a lack of specifics, went on to say that he would shift several programs such as Medicaid, housing vouchers and food stamps to state control instead of federal.
The former Massachusetts governor also said he wanted to trim the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition and tie benefits to those received by citizens working in the private sector.
A Washington Post analysis has found Romney's promise to reduce federal spending and balance the budget would mean $9.6 trillion in non-defense cuts by 2022. The Post says Romney's proposed cuts to PBS, Amtrak and the National Endowment for the Arts would be "chump change."
"Overall, the cuts that Romney specifies would just be a drop in the bucket, and they still don't explain how his budget would produce the savings that he promises," said Post writer Suzy Khimm.
Asked about a conclusion by the Tax Policy Center that his plan would ease taxes on the wealthy while raising them on the middle class, Romney said it was "garbage."
Specifically, he said TPC analysts ignored certain parts of his plan and promised that wealthy taxpayers would pay their fair share.
"There's an old expression in the computer world: garbage in, garbage out. They made garbage assumptions and they reached a garbage conclusion," Romney said.
He added, "My tax policy will continue to have a very clear direction. We are not going reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income individuals, and we're certainly not going to increase the taxes paid by middle-income taxpayers."
In fact, Romney insisted in the Fortune interview that it could be done, promising 12 million new jobs, GDP growth of 4 percent and a restored AAA credit rating after his first, four-year term.
"And families across the country will be able to get the jobs they need," Romney said. "They'll see home prices on the rise again and will be confident that their kids will have a better future than the lives we've enjoyed."
by RTT Staff Writer
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