Friday, November 23, 2007

Romney: Need For Fiscal Restraint in Washington

Governor Mitt Romney "The Michael Medved Show"

Governor Romney On The Need For Fiscal Restraint In Washington:

Michael Medved: "What's stunning to me, Governor, and I know you're familiar with this as a businessman is that when it comes to federal government outlays – the total the federal government spends as a percentage of our total economy, the Gross Domestic Product – we've been stuck at this 20 percent number. Even Ronald Reagan couldn't really bring it down. It actually went up under Reagan. And President Bush is right in there with all of his predecessors. Do you think it's reasonably possible if you became President of the United States to actually reduce the percentage of the economy that is spent by the federal government, and if it is possible, how are you going to do it?"

Governor Romney: "Well, the answer is it's possible, but the battle is going to be keeping the Democrats from increasing the amount that the federal government takes of our total economic activity, because if the Bush tax cuts were not made permanent, that 20 percent goes up in to the mid-20s and ultimately even higher. And that's of course unacceptable because we've gone for decades and decades not getting above roughly 20 percent of the gross domestic product. And so we're going to have to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, we're going to have to stop the spread of the AMT, we've got to kill the death tax, we've got to lower the corporate tax rate just to keep government from taking a larger and larger share of our livelihoods. "Frankly, this is obviously an enormous gap between ourselves and the Democrats. We're going to have to fight for the line-item veto, fight for capping federal spending and fight to hold down the tax rates in this country or we will put the brakes on the growth of America. And the best way to reduce the tax burden as a percentage of the total economic activity is to grow the country and grow our economy."

Medved: "Amen to that. What about specific government programs that ought to be terminated? I know that's a tough question for a candidate, but I know you deal familiarly as a business executive with tough questions. Where are there some government programs where we just ought to cut them dead?

Governor Romney: "Well, I've got a list of all of the government programs where there is duplication from one agency to another. There are some 342 different economic development programs. We have over 100 different job training programs. We have 13 teenage pregnancy prevention programs. The duplication that is suggested by those kind of numbers suggests that you can cut dramatically back on those programs, and you can consolidate programs and end up with something that has far less bureaucracy and is able to do the job for a lot less money. But the problem in Washington is, once somebody gets a program started that has their name attached to it, they never want to kill it. And I intend to go through the entire federal government, agency by agency, program by program, rank them, determine which ones are working, which ones aren't, which ones can be combined with others and eliminate programs one after the other. And those three areas I gave you are places I know I'd be eliminating."

To listen to Governor Romney discuss the need for fiscal discipline, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa2DxjWstpE

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