‘Specifics’ and ‘principles’ are not the same thing


When it comes to its budget pitch to voters, Romney/Ryan has quite a vision: they’ll slash taxes, increase defense spending, increase entitlement spending, and balance the budget – all while protecting the home-mortgage-interest deduction, the health care deduction, and the charitable-contribution deduction. How? By closing unnamed tax loopholes.

There’s growing impatience over the campaign’s refusal to offer any kind of substance or details, to the point that even some Fox News hosts not named Shep Smith are getting irritated on the air.

On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Romney went so far as to try to redefine what the word “specifics” means.

David Gregory specifically asked for “specifics” to explain how Romney “gets to this math.” The Republican replied, “Well, the specifics are these which is, those principles I described are the heart of my policy.”

In other words, in Mitt Romney’s mind, specific policy details and broad statements about generalized goals are the same thing. When Gregory asked the candidate to name a single tax loophole he intends to close, Romney would not.

On ABC, George Stephanopoulos pressed Paul Ryan on this, asked whether “voters have a right to know which loopholes you’re going to go after.” Ryan said voters would learn the details after the election, once the Romney administration begins workting with Congress.

Asked if this constitutes “a secret plan,” Ryan insisted it does not, saying he and Romney “want to do this out in the open,” having “this debate in the public” – but not until after they’re elected.

Let this argument roll around in your brain for a moment: Romney is trying to redefine the word “specifics” to give it the opposite of its intended meaning, while Ryan is trying to argue that secrecy is actually just a delayed version of transparency.

I’d long assumed Ayn Rand inspired the Romney-Ryan script. Now, it’s looking more like George Orwell.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney

'Specifics' and 'principles' are not the same thing