|The American Presidency Project|
|• Mitt Romney|
|Press Release - On Spending, Romney Will Make the Tough Choices That Santorum Would Not|
|February 16, 2012|
|"Mitt Romney believes it is essential that Washington live within its means. As president, he will address our skyrocketing debt and deficits with a bold fiscal plan that reforms entitlements and makes cuts in non-essential spending. Senator Santorum's record in Washington is not fiscally conservative. Governor Romney will make the tough decisions on spending that Senator Santorum has been unable or unwilling to make." —Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson
Governor Romney snd Senator Santorum Have Very Different Approaches to Federal Spending:
As Governor, Mitt Romney Went After The Sacred Cows — And He'll Do The Same As President. ROMNEY: "If there was a program, an agency, or a department that needed cutting, we cut it. In fact, a commentator once said that I didn't just go after the sacred cows, I went after the whole herd. And I can't wait to get my hands on Washington." (Jennifer Rubin, "Romney Connects At CPAC," The Washington Post, 2/10/12)
Senator Santorum, On The Other Hand, Admitted: "I Am No Longer A Deficit Hawk ... I'll Tell You Why. I Had To Spend The Surpluses." "Confronted with projected deficits until fiscal 2007, senior GOP lawmakers are backing away from long-standing rhetoric about the government's duty to live within its means. 'I came to the House as a real deficit hawk, but I am no longer a deficit hawk,' said Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). 'I'll tell you why. I had to spend the surpluses. Deficits make it easier to say no.'" (Hans Nichols, "Leadership Lines Up With Deficit Doves," The Hill, 2/5/03)
As President, Romney Will Cut Spending, Cap Spending, And Balance The Budget:
After three years of President Obama, many now question whether we can ever return to fiscal sanity, let alone fiscal strength. A point of no return may well be approaching — a decade of huge deficits could drive our principal payments and interest rates beyond our reach while starving the economy of the capital it needs to grow.
Fortunately, the American economy's tremendous capacity for growth gives the country one more chance to correct course. Mitt Romney has spent his career executing turnarounds in the private sector, the non-profit sector, and in state government. He will bring to Washington the turnaround philosophy it so badly needs.
Set Honest Goals: Cap Spending At 20 Percent Of GDP
Any turnaround must begin with clear and realistic goals. Optimistic projections cannot wish a problem away, they can only make it worse. As president, Mitt's goal will be to bring federal spending below 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term:
Take Immediate Action: Return Non-Security Discretionary Spending To Below 2008 Levels
Any turnaround must also stop the bleeding and reverse the most recent and dramatic damage:
Follow A Clear Roadmap: Build A Simpler, Smaller, Smarter Government
Most importantly, any turnaround must have a thoughtful, structured approach to achieving its goals. Mitt will attack the bloated budget from three angles:
1. The Federal Government Should Stop Doing Things The American People Can't Afford, Including:
2. Empower States To Innovate — Savings: >$100 billion
3. Improve Efficiency And Effectiveness. Where the federal government should act, it must do a better job. For instance:
Reduce Waste And Fraud — Savings: $60 Billion. The federal government made $125 billion in improper payments last year. Cutting that amount in half through stricter enforcement and harsher penalties yields returns many times over on the investment.
If pursued with focus and discipline, Romney's approach provides a roadmap to rescue the federal government from its present precipice. But that respite will be short-lived without a plan for the looming long-term threat posed by the unsustainable nature of existing entitlement obligations. Romney proposes reforms that will strengthen both Social Security and Medicare, preserving benefits for today's seniors while putting the program on sound footing for generations of seniors to come.
Social Security: No one at or near the retirement age will see any changes and tax hikes cannot be on the table. Instead, Social Security can be placed on a sustainable trajectory with commonsense reforms:
Medicare: Medicare should not change for anyone in the program or soon to be in it. Nor should tax hikes be part of the solution. Reforms must honor commitments to our current seniors while giving the next generation an improved program that offers the freedom to choose what their coverage under Medicare should look like:
|Citation: Mitt Romney: "Press Release - On Spending, Romney Will Make the Tough Choices That Santorum Would Not", February 16, 2012. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=99548.|
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