Ezra Klein shows why Mitt Romney’s budget plan is ‘not viable’

Updated
By Aliyah Shahid

Mitt Romney’s numbers just don’t add up.

The Republican presidential nominee is insisting he’ll cut $7 trillion from the country’s budget without adding to the deficit or hiking taxes on the middle class.  The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein broke down the proposals within Romney’s budget plan on msnbc, declaring it simply looks “like a fantasy.”

Romney has said he’ll bring federal spending under 20% of the overall economy and cap it there by 2016. That amounts to a jaw-dropping $7 trillion in 10 years, Klein explained.

Meanwhile, the former Massachusetts governor has said he’ll make the cuts without funneling cash from Medicare and Social Security. He also plans to increase defense spending by $1 trillion.”It’s like the Ryan budget on steroids,” said Klein, referring to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s sweeping budget proposal, which calls for $5 trillion in cuts. 

But here’s the thing: For Romney to make his proposed cuts, it means he’d have to cut every single federal program that’s not Social Security, Medicare or defense by an average of 40% in 2016, said Klein.

That includes programs like Medicaid, education, NASA, veterans’ benefits and transportation.”There’s no way he’s going to cut all of that by 40%,” said Klein.

So Romney, of course, could raise taxes to make the difference. The problem, however, is Romney wants to extend all the Bush tax cuts and slash marginal rates on top of that by another 20%. 

That would mean the top 1% of earners would get $150,000 off their taxes in 2016. The government would also lose almost $5 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. On top of that, there would be a tax increase on the poorest Americans because the stimulus tax rates would expire, Klein explained. 

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center, Klein noted, also says Romney’s plan is “not mathematically possible.”

Klein explained Romney has three choices if he wants his plan to work. “He has to make the tax cuts smaller, raise taxes on the middle class to cover tax cuts for the rich, or he can add to the deficit.”

Now you know.

Ezra Klein, Budget and Barack Obama

Ezra Klein shows why Mitt Romney's budget plan is 'not viable'

Updated