Geo-Graphics » There’s a $1 Trillion Hole in Romney’s Budget Math


October 20, 2012 by Michael

If you need some context about the problems with the Romney/Ryan budget plan, this offers some good (and brief) reading, devoid of the name-calling and partisan silliness that often accompanies such articles:

Geo-Graphics » There’s a $1 Trillion Hole in Romney’s Budget Math.

It represents one of the many reasons why undecided voters need to see exactly how the Republican ticket proposes to pay for its proposed marginal income tax cut. Both men have been vague in this regard, citing only that they’ll eliminate loopholes. This vagueness suggests either that they already know their plan won’t work or that implementing it requires unpopular aspects—further cuts to Social Security or higher taxes—that they don’t want to reveal until after the election.

There’s one easy way to solve this problem, of course: provide details. Because as it stands right now, the Romney/Ryan numbers just don’t add up.


3 thoughts on “Geo-Graphics » There’s a $1 Trillion Hole in Romney’s Budget Math

  1. Don Street says:


    I have always said that figures lie and liars figure. I too have some doubts that Mitt’s tax plan will really work but I equally believe that Paul Ryan would not have developed the plan if the figures were as black and white as those figures you point to seem to portray. However, one thing is very black and white: President Obama has increased the National Debt by almost $6 trillon in four years. How do I know that the next four years willl not bring us the same results? I have not heard anything from him or Joe Biden that gives me any comfort that they can turn this around.

    • Michael says:


      Obama has had his budget proposal out since September 2011. It’s 24 pages long and explains, in detail, how (and why) he would reduce the federal deficit. He claims that his budget would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade, but factcheckers say that this figure is only true if you include the $1.7 trillion in deficit-reducing legislation passed under him in 2011, and that the total is more like $3.8 trillion.

      Still, that’s a sizeable deficit reduction, and a figure that has withstood considerable scrutiny by the media and folks on both sides of the aisle in the thirteen months since it’s been out. What about it doesn’t give you comfort? What part of it do you feel is too vague? If you can let me know, I’d be happy to fact check it.

      There is no similarly detailed document from Mitt Romney outlining how he intends to pay for his budget policy. If you look at his website, he breaks down his budget in very broad terms, but not to the level of detail that Obama does, and it doesn’t mention the loopholes he keeps talking about that will finance this.

      This post is based on the only specific answer these men have given about those loopholes, and it echoes a criticism of their budget from many economists. Ryan says they won’t answer because they want to negotiate these loopholes later, but that seems rather thin. Negotiations have to begin somewhere, so why not start now? Why hold it back, especially when so many people have been asking about it? To me, the only reasonable answers are that they don’t have a viable plan or that it contains information that would damage their election chances. Is there another reason you can think of that they won’t be more specific?

      As to whether the next four years might bring more of the same from Obama, that question will–like his first four years–lie with Congress. The only way to reduce a deficit of this size is a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, not just one or the other. If Congress cannot understand this, then no President will get anything done.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  2. jeremy says:

    there’s a hole in the budget, dear lizza dear lizza.

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