Will the so-called deficit hawks condemn the Romney plan?

When I saw pictures of Romney’s 1200 person stadium crowd, my first though was ‘hey didn’t our guy fill stadiums last time round’. I was planning to do a photo comparison but Think Progress got there first. The visual comparison is quite stunning. Obama was filling stadiums for real round about this time in 2008 and it is clear that Romney could not do that, not in any state of the union.

Not such a good message for a candidate whose campaign proposition is that he is the only candidate who can beat Obama.

But as Ezra Klein points out, the real news was not the stadium fail but the speech Romney gave. Promised as ‘revenue neutral’, the actual plan is essentially more of the Bush approach that got us into this mess:

The outline of Romney’s tax reform plan is the same as what you heard on Wednesday. And Romney backed his advisers up, promising that his plan “will not add to the deficit.” Or he appeared to. But the way it won’t add to the deficit, he said, was through “stronger economic growth, spending cuts, and base broadening will offset the reductions.” Raise your hand if you see what Romney did there.

Krugman will undoubtedly weigh in sooner or later pointing out that Romney’s budget is based on lying. Apparently it takes a Nobel laureate to point out the obvious fact that it is not possible for a country to solve a deficit problem with massive tax cuts for the 1%.

But even judged on the GOP’s own standards the Romney budget is a catastrophe. The country cannot afford a budget that is ‘revenue neutral’. The budget is already in an unsustainable deficit and the additional revenues from growth are already spoken for to reduce the deficit.

Don’t get me wrong. Austerity is not the solution to a recession. Japan proved that long before the Europeans went down that path. Now is not the time to be reducing spending or raising taxes on the 99%. But once the economy is growing again, that time will have come. Obama is proposing to use spending cuts and growth to move back towards the balanced budget Clinton left the last GOP administration. Romney is proposing a plan that would sustain the deficit at current levels even according to his own figures.

No wonder then that the candidate of the 1% attracts a 2% crowd.

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