"The fiscal catastrophe facing much of Europe is a stark warning of what lies ahead if Barack Obama gets four more years to move us toward a European-style welfare state." -- Mitt Romney
As the national debt continues to spiral out of control, Mitt Romney today criticized President Obama's reckless fiscal policies and reiterated his commitment to Cut, Cap, and Balance the federal budget. Romney noted that President Obama remains on track to increase America's publicly held debt by nearly as much as all prior presidents combined, and that the nation's total debt burden now exceeds the size of its entire economy for the first time since the Second World War.
"Barack Obama's Entitlement Society is rapidly consuming the next generation's resources to expand the government of today," said Mitt Romney. "Getting our fiscal house in order has become more than just an economic issue; it is a moral imperative."
Romney described the turnaround mentality he would bring to Washington's budget, setting a clear goal of reducing spending below twenty percent of GDP by 2016 and adopting a clear set of strategies to get there. He has already identified over $300 billion in annual spending cuts, and presented a comprehensive plan to preserve Medicare and Social Security for those at or near retirement while reforming and strengthening it for the future.
"I will cut programs if we do not need them, send programs to the states if they can run them better, and then make the federal government we do need more efficient and effective," said Mitt Romney. "And then I will pursue a Balanced Budget Amendment, to ensure that no president will ever repeat the damage our current one has done to America's future."
Mitt Romney's Plan to Turn Around the Federal Government:
Set Honest Goals: Cap Spending At 20 Percent Of GDP
* Any turnaround must begin with clear and realistic goals. Optimistic projections cannot wish a problem away; they can only make it worse. As president, Mitt Romney's goal will be to bring federal spending below 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term.
Take Immediate Action: Return Non-Security Discretionary Spending To Below 2008 Levels
* Any turnaround must also stop the bleeding and reverse the most recent and dramatic damage. As president, Mitt Romney will send Congress a bill on Day One that cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent across the board, and then seek to cap non-security discretionary spending below 2008 levels
Follow A Clear Roadmap: Build A Simpler, Smaller, Smarter Government
Most importantly, any turnaround must have a thoughtful, structured approach to achieving its goals. Mitt Romney will attack the bloated budget from three angles:
1. Stop Doing Things The American People Can't Afford. Eliminating Obamacare alone will save $95 billion annually by 2016. Mitt Romney will also eliminate or cut a wide range of programs, from Amtrak to the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, always asking the question: "Is this program so critical that we should borrow money from China to pay for it?"
2. Empower States To Innovate. State and local governments are far better equipped than is the federal government to understand the needs of their residents and craft the appropriate programs to serve them. Returning anti-poverty programs to the states will lead to programs that are less costly to the government and more effective for those in need. Mitt Romney will begin by block granting Medicaid to the states and limiting its rate of growth, saving well over $100 billion per year by 2016. He will also block grant housing, hunger, and retraining programs.
3. Improve Efficiency And Effectiveness. Where the federal government does need to act, it must do a better job. The White House estimates that more than $100 billion was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse last year. Mitt Romney will aim to cut this problem in half, producing more than $50 billion in annual savings. He will also pursue commonsense reductions through attrition in the federal workforce, and an alignment of federal employee pay and benefits with compensation in the private sector, saving an additional $50 billion.