Common sense suggests that Governor Romney can’t reduce taxes and cut the deficit while raising spending and maintaining important government programs. By laying out 10-year revenue and spending forecasts in the House budget last spring, Romney’s runningmate, Budget Chairman Ryan, has given us the tools to check out Romney’s arithmetic.
Using Ryan’s own data, we can see just how radical – and impossible – the Romney budget proposals really are. Romney proposes to limit non-defense spending to 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Even after the big cuts Ryan proposes in programs for the needy, he still expects to spend 15.8 percent of GDP in 2020 (the last year of a 2nd Romney term) for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment insurance, interest on the debt, and aid to veterans. The implication of Ryan’s figures, then, is that Romney will have no money at all for everything else the government does — including education, transportation, the FBI, border patrols, and environmental and financial regulation.