The Wednesday morning analysis of the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney has all been about debate moderator Candy Crowley, the feistiness of both candidates and who the winner was.
One debate moment is hardly being touched upon, except in the Daily Caller and here at Economic Collapse News. During the debate, a town hall attendee asked the former Massachusetts Governor how he differentiates himself from former President George W. Bush.
Romney noted that he would take a different approach to domestic energy and maintain a harder stance on China and the allegations that its central bank is manipulating its Renminbi Yuan. There was one moment, though, where the former governor took aim at President Bush’s fiscal record.
In 2008, President Bush left his successor a near $500 billion budget deficit – the deficit has now exceeded $1 trillion for four straight years. Romney found both President Bush’s and President Obama’s budget gaps quite outrageous.
“I’m going to get us to a balanced budget. President Bush didn’t. President Obama was right, he said that that was outrageous to have deficits as high as half a trillion dollars under the Bush years,” stated the two-time presidential candidate. “He was right, but then he put in place deficits twice that size for every one of his four years. And his forecast for the next four years is more deficits, almost that large. So that’s the next area I’m different than President Bush.”
The president went onto note: “George Bush didn’t propose turning Medicare into a voucher. He didn’t call for self-deportation. George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.”
Throughout the presidential campaign, Romney has distanced himself from Bush, even though the entire Bush family has endorsed Romney for president. The former governor continually refers to President Bush simply as President Obama’s “predecessor.” His campaign has also made sure that he is barely referenced in Romney’s stump speeches.
Members of the Bush family have not commented on the jab taken by Romney on the deficit. In August, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush urged the Obama administration to stop constantly blaming his brother.
Romney has vowed to balance the budget by the end of his second term in the White House. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that the only way Romney can succeed in getting Washington’s fiscal house in order in eight years is to cut funding in half in many areas, increase taxes and reduce Social Security and Medicare.
Instead, the GOP nominee has said he would cut non-discretionary spending by five percent, combine agencies and departments, end subsidies for groups like Amtrak and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), eliminate “programs that are not absolutely essential” and cut federal government employment by 10 percent through attrition and align pay with the private sector. Romney also expects his economic policies would generate extra revenue for the federal government.
One of the key aspects of his campaign is to increase defense/military spending. Freshman Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has criticized Romney on this and says that members of both sides have to find cuts in defense spending and welfare spending.
The son of retiring Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul published an op-ed piece on CNN.com last week and wrote that “defense and war spending has grown 137 percent since 2001. That kind of growth is not sustainable.”
“Adm. Michael Mullen stated earlier this year that the biggest threat to our national security is our debt,” said the Tea Party favorite. “If debt is our gravest threat, adding to the debt by expanding military spending further threatens our national security.”
The mainstream media has consistently reported and the GOP ticket has said on the campaign trail that the president is cutting the military budget. However, he is actually increasing military spending over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The supposed $500 billion cuts are only from the CBO baseline, which means the incumbent Commander in Chief is only slightly reducing projected military spending.