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CBPP chart showing severity of Romney's proposed cuts
Mitt Romney hasn't released a full-on budget proposal, because, well, he's running for president, for Pete's sake. Putting specifics on paper could make him unpopular.

That would really be true if all of his statements about spending priorities were put together in one document, as a new analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows. Romney says he would cap federal spending, lower taxes, boost defense spending, and have a balanced budget, all of which would require devastating, massive cuts in domestic programs.

For the most part, Governor Romney has not outlined cuts in specific programs. But if policymakers exempted Social Security from the cuts, as Romney has suggested, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and all other entitlement and discretionary programs by the same percentage — to meet Romney’s spending cap, defense spending target, and balanced budget requirement — then non-defense programs other than Social Security would have to be cut 29 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2022 (see Figure 1). Without the balanced budget requirement, the cuts would be smaller but still massive, reaching 40 percent in 2022.

The cuts that would be required under the Romney budget proposals in programs such as veterans’ disability compensation, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for poor elderly and disabled individuals, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and child nutrition programs would move millions of households below the poverty line or drive them deeper into poverty. The cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would make health insurance unaffordable (or unavailable) to tens of millions of people.

CBPP chart showing what balanced budget would cut
The cuts to non-defense discretionary programs (education, law enforcement, veterans' health, health research) would come on top of the cuts already put in place by the Budget Control Act. Throw in the tax cuts Romney has talked about, which Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates would cost about $4.9 trillion over 10 years, and you've got a major fiscal disaster for the country in the making.

That's a budget proposal so severely conservative, it's more drastic that the Paul Ryan budget. Ryan's proposing just a measly $5 trillion in cuts over the next decade; Romney would require between $7 and 10 trillion, making Ryan look like a piker. It's also even more unsustainable for the nation than Ryan's plan. There would be essentially nothing left standing but the Pentagon, looking out for the next war. Meanwhile, the casualites of past ones—disabled vets—would be shit out of luck.

No wonder Romney won't put this all down on paper.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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