Romney Adviser Can’t Explain Debt Plan

One of Mitt Romney’s advisers, Tara Wall, went on MSNBC and was questioned by Luke Russert about Romney’s plan to balance the budget. Romney’s plan, of course, would do the exact opposite, with trillions in tax cuts that will dramatically reduce federal revenue and further explode the debt. This is the best answer she could muster — and they’re pretty lame.

RUSSERT: What are the offsets? What are we specifically going to do to balance the budget?

WALL: Well, I believe Americans will hear a lot more about Governor Romney’s plan, and if you want to see in depth what his plan is, you can certainly research that and look at that more in depth. But overall, there have been a number of new regulations, over-zealous regulations, on small businesses enacted by this administration, and we have to look at those things. [...]

RUSSERT: Even with those small business cuts you’re talking about, they’re in the billions. We’re talking trillions with a T. Non-partisan: increase by the debt, Mr. Romney’s plan with these tax cuts, by $2.6 trillion. Why are there no specifics? You guys want to talk about big ideas, you don’t want to talk about Bain and the tax issues. I don’t want to talk about that. I’m asking you specifically: How does Mitt Romney’s plan balance the budget by 2020?

WALL: I think, if you look at the economic numbers, I’m not an economist and I’m not going to play an economist, I think that Mitt Romney has a proven record of bringing economies back. He brought down unemployment as governor, he created jobs as a governor, he was effective as a businessperson overall, and I think you have to apply those concepts. [...] You can’t discount that, and you can’t discount the fact that we have to be able to look at how we begin solving the debt problem and bringing that down, and to do that, number one, is to start with streamlining our tax code, bringing down our marginal tax rate, the regulations that have been overburdensome, and making real true spending cuts.

Doesn’t even try to address the question. Why? Because there is no answer to it. It’s the same plan we’ve been hearing about from Republicans for decades. Cutting taxes, for the rich of course, is the answer to every problem. It’s why debt has gone up much faster under Republican presidents than Democratic presidents for the last 40 years, and by a huge margin.

33 comments on this post.
  1. Randomfactor:

    “Look, lady, answer the question or get off the stage. We’ve got a representative for President Obama waiting for your seat. He’ll get the same treatment.”

    Just ONCE I’d like to hear that from a “journalist.” Or even someone like Russert.

  2. busterggi:

    I have faith that as soon as Romney’s people can come up with two totally opposing explainations of how Mitt’s plan will work he will take up both positions as needed, a die roll of 1 – 3 will mean explaination A, a die roll of 4 – 6 will mean explaination B.

  3. Anneliese:

    That’s a word salad worthy of Palin. Did she dump the dictionary in the word processor and hit puree?

  4. jayarrrr:

    WALL: “I think, if you look at the economic numbers, I’m not an economist and I’m not going to play an economist…”

    RUSSERT: “Well, funny you should say that. Joining us now is Paul Krugman, who not only *IS* an economist, he won a Nobel Prize for playing one. Professor Krugman, what does the RMoney plan mean for the Economy?”

    Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

  5. d cwilson:

    Pretty much SOP for the Romney campaign: Never give a straight answer to any question and never give any policy specifics. I’m amazed at how much our “liberal media” has let them get away with that.

  6. left0ver1under:

    In 2008, Jack Cafferty said of a Sarah Palin interview,

    “[That was] one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen from someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country.”

    The Rmoney campaign has had its Palin moment.

  7. daved:

    Pretty much SOP for the Romney campaign: Never give a straight answer to any question and never give any policy specifics.

    There’s plenty of precedent for this. Probably from both parties, but I am reminded of an example I saw myself. Back in 1976, when Reagan was trying to win the GOP primaries, he appeared at an event at my college in New Hampshire. Quite a large event; it was held in the sports arena. He gave a speech, then took questions from the audience. He did not give a straight answer to a single question, even when he could have (i.e. it was a friendly question). It was sort of impressive, in a revolting way.

  8. keithb:

    I love the argument:
    1. Romney will bring the Economy roaring back (Implication: Tax revenues will rise – but she doesn’t even say that!)
    2. Romney will cut taxes (Implication he will lower tax revenue)
    3. Effect on debt: ???

  9. keithb:

    And here is the next question:
    Romney is counting on growth at some percentage in order to cut taxes and lower the deficit. If growth is less than forecast, will he raise taxes to maintain deficit targets?

  10. Michael Heath:

    leftover1under:

    The Rmoney campaign has had its Palin moment.

    It’s really amazing to see Mr. Romney follow Ms. Palin’s example on disclosure and the defective quality of his communications while simultaneously trying to maintain the aura he’s a smart capable leader whose on the side of the country while the current president is not.

    I have no doubt Mr. Romney is a very smart fellow. His behavior suggests a near-blatant scam on the American people, where he’s not even troubled to create a narrative to hide his underlying agenda.

  11. slc1:

    Romney reminds me of what wags say about the weather in Chicago. “You think it’s nice now, wait 20 minutes and it will change”.

  12. slc1:

    Re Michael Heath @ #10

    I have no doubt Mr. Romney is a very smart fellow

    I don’t know about that. Dubya also graduated from the Harvard School of Business and is considered less then intelligent in some quarters.

  13. raven:

    Bush managed to kill the US economy for an entire Lost Generation. The federal reserve is projecting the recovery to take until 2018.

    One more Bush like catastrophe and it’s two Lost Generations and recovery beyond my expected lifespan.

    Bush cut taxes, increased spending wildly, and started two expensive wars. We all know how well all that worked.

  14. theschwa:

    …we have to be able to look at how we begin solving the debt problem and bringing that down, and to do that, number one, is to start with streamlining our tax code, bringing down our marginal tax rate

    Of course! Less is more! We will reduce the debt by reducing the amount of tax the government collects! It is brilliant in its simplicity!
    Also, I will lose weight by eating more!

  15. raven:

    FWIW, its no secret what we need to do to get out of the Bush Catastrophe. Just about any economist knows what to do.

    Those tax cuts were a disaster. They starved the government way beyond anything they accomplished.

    1. Taxes need to be raised to what we need to run our government. There also needs to be spending cuts so we don’t run huge deficits.

    2. Both need to be backloaded. With our shakey recession economy, raising taxes too much or cutting spending too much too soon would just throw it back into the Great Recession.

    3. The key point here is that there is no fast fix. It will take many years to work our way out. We have to do the obvious right things at a deliberate pace.

  16. The Lorax:

    Q: “How do you plan on fixing things?”
    A: “We need to fix things.”

    Bravo. Bra-fuckin’-vo.

  17. raven:

    Someone did a study a year or so ago.

    It turns out that there is a correlation between tax rates and prosperity.

    The 15 most highly taxed countries are also mostly the 15 richest and healthiest countries.

    Not what the Tea Partiers tell you, is it.

    Look at Greece. Taxes there were really low because most people just didn’t pay them. They are in serious trouble and may sink the level where the UN has to send in relief teams and food to feed those who end up in refugee camps. And who is bailing them out right now? Those overtaxed Germans.

    Same thing with Argentina, Jamaica, and a lot of the Third World.

  18. Midnight Rambler:

    I have no doubt Mr. Romney is a very smart fellow

    I don’t know about that. Dubya also graduated from the Harvard School of Business and is considered less then intelligent in some quarters.

    True, but Mitt did make a vast amount of money with his business, while Bush took everything he owned and ran it into the ground. Since he did it by raiding and pillaging, I don’t think Mitt’s “skills” would exactly translate into government, but it does take some intelligence to do that effectively.

  19. Spanish Inquisitor:

    Translation:

    RUSSERT: What are we going to do to balance the budget?

    WALL: Go look it up on our website. There a lot of impressive mumbo-jumbo there that will satisfy you.

    RUSSERT: How does Mitt Romney’s plan balance the budget by 2020?

    WALL: He made lots of money at Bain, in the private sector, so that should be good enough for you. At the very least he’ll make sure that there is less money being paid into the government.

    ———————

    Gee. Why isn’t everyone voting for him?

  20. Crudely Wrott:

    “I believe that . . . ”

    Oh, really! Tell me, what do you know? And why can’t you speak it plainly?

  21. d cwilson:

    slc1:

    I don’t know about that. Dubya also graduated from the Harvard School of Business and is considered less then intelligent in some quarters.

    My impression of Bush has always been that his main problem was intellectual laziness, not like of ability. He could scrape by if he applied himself, but generally had little interest in expanding beyond his narrow preconceptions.

    Midnight Rambler:

    Since he did it by raiding and pillaging, I don’t think Mitt’s “skills” would exactly translate into government,

    Depends on the government. He’d be the perfect candidate to run a colony in Africa or Asia during Europe’s colonial period.

  22. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant):

    @The Lorax, #16:

    I heard

    Q: “How do you plan on fixing things?”
    A: “Obama won’t fix things fnord.”

  23. D. C. Sessions:

    The Rmoney campaign has had its Palin moment.

    Many, many of them.

  24. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    “Rhymes with ‘village.’”

  25. Chris from Europe:

    Those overtaxed Germans.

    We aren’t. But we’re assholes. Poor Greeks.

  26. Chris from Europe:

    And poor Germans if the German government manages to blow up the Euro. I didn’t believe that this could happen two years ago. I nearly bet on it.

    I can’t stand this insecure situations. That’s also the reason I’d like the Romney campaign to implode soon, after the nomination, of course.

  27. Michael Heath:

    I wrote:

    I have no doubt Mr. Romney is a very smart fellow . . .

    slc1 responds:

    I don’t know about that. Dubya also graduated from the Harvard School of Business and is considered less then intelligent in some quarters.

    Mr. Bush’s going to Harvard has absolutely nothing to do with my asserting Mr. Romney’s intelligence, which is based on Romney’s demonstrated performance, not their Daddy’s connections.

  28. democommie:

    I think Romney is cunning. I don’t equate cunning with emotionally intelligent or actually all that intelligent in a general sense.

    Sharks are extremely efficient at killing and eating smaller and weaker species. Mittunswillard is a shark of sorts (although he has others do the rape and pillage part of his business model).

  29. frog:

    Democommie, I LOLed at your #28, for reasons you would have no way of knowing.

    A good friend of mine describes my cat as “stupid, but cunning.” He (the cat) knows how to break into the pantry and pull food off the shelf and out of the bag, but he’s also stupid enough to groom himself so enthusiastically he falls off his cat-tree.

    Maybe the trick to Mitt is we should watch his eyes to see when they dilate.

  30. busterggi:

    I’m not sure if replicant’s eyes dilate.

  31. Raging Bee:

    Of course! Less is more! We will reduce the debt by reducing the amount of tax the government collects!

    Homeopathic revenue enhancement?

  32. Chris from Europe:

    @Raging Bee
    Wonderful, unfortunately it can’t be used as it would probably offend too many Democratic voters.

  33. dingojack:

    I can’t help but think of:
    ‘We, the government, borrow a bucket-load of money from investors, it rolls in. We fill our pockets, it vanishes away. You, the suckers, pay a shitload to pay-down the interest on the money we borrowed, it pours out.
    Never a miscommunication – We can’t explain that‘.
    The Rmoney Mantra.
    Dingo

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