msnbc | August 30, 2012
>>> if mitt romney wins the white house , he will send to congress a man for some things to get cut, some things to get more spending. he will send a plan for whose taxes are going up and whose are going down. budgets run to thousands of panls. at this point romney has given little detail about his financial plan for the country. but have begun to piece it together. it's what we fight about it though we rarely fight about it with numbers attached. for that here's ezra klein .
>> thank you. policy stalker? i wish i could tell you something nicer about mitt romney 's budget than i'm about to tell you. he's the republican nominee for president, he's got a vision for the country. i'd like to tell you it's a viable one, but it's not. that's not something i say about paul ryan 's budget which is viable. if you follow romney 's numbers all the way to the end, they just end up looking like a fantasy. on the spending side as you can see here, mr. romney says he will bring federal spending under 20% of the overall economy and cap it there by 2016 . in practice, that amounts to a huge cut. over the next ten years it is a cut of almost $2 trillion more than is even in paul ryan 's budget . so mr. romney 's budget is way more severe on the spending side than mr. ryan 's. and mr. romney says he will do that $7 trillion cut without touching medicare, without touching social security , and while increasing spending on defense by about a trillion dollars. it's like the ryan budget on steroids. here's what that means in actual raw numbers from the government. for mitt romney to keep his promise to limit spending he's have to cut every program that is not medicare, social security or defense by 57% by 2016 . i mean everything. medicaid, food safety , education, nasa, clean energy research, pell grants , transportation, all of it. everything else the federal government does. and there is no way he's going to cut all that by 40%. on the other side, mr. romney has his tax promises. he'll extend all the bush tax cuts and cut morningal rates on top of that by another 20%. if he just does that with no other changes and that's in his budget now, it's a huge tax cut . folks in the top 1% get $130,000 off their taxes in 2016 . the federal government loses $5 trillion in revenue over ten years. and at the same time it's actually a small tax increase on the poorest americans because mr. romney lets a couple of stimulus tax breaks that are progressive expire. but mr. romney says none of that will happen. he says he'll pay for his tax breaks by closing loopholes and close them in such a way that the top 1% don't pay any less than they do now. so can he do that? no, he can't. the tax policy center is a completely nonpartisan think tank . their director was top in the bush administration . they've run numbers on this. they satd these promises are quote, not mathematically possible to keep. it's straight arithmetic. there isn't enough money in tax breaks for the rich to pay for romney is promising them. he's got to either raise taxes on the middle class to cover tr the rich on add to the deficits. what is not an option is just doing what the budget promises say he will do.
>> ezra, that is rather astonishing. i want to get actual reaction from chris matthews . i could see your face while you were watching there. you had your same look on your face as i did when it got to the part that it's not mathematically possible. i never expect a totally realistic promise. but it does seem further off than things usually are, doesn't it?
>> yeah. and i don't even think they try just like we were talking a few minutes ago about fact checking . it's like it's getting like the middle east . merely claiming something and it becomes biblically true. we're spending higher in gdp than normal because we've been in a recession. but when you ask the conservatives what they're going to do about it they say we're going to tax less. we're currently taxing 15% of gdp , spending 25%. any reasonable middle of the road person would say we should con verge on 20% spending, 20% revenues. that's called balancing the budget . you never hear the conservatives say the only way to balance is to bring up the revenue level to meet the 20% gdp spending level. from 15% to 20% to meet it. no. they say let's get rid of capital gains . let's cut the corporate rate. let's get rid of the estate tax and keep the bush tax cuts permanently. and you say well that would probably take it down to about 12%. we would have a larger deficit. but nobody asks. nobody cares about the basic facts of our fiscal chaos right now which is there's no attempt to match revenues with spending. i would say to a conservative, only spend the money you're willing to raise in taxes or stop spending it. only tax what you're willing to keep the spending level to. they're not interested in the revenue side and not being honest about the spending side. there's not a lot of government spending you can cut without cutting the middle class , the very people you're trying to get to vote for you.
>> ed shultz and chris hayes , in terms of the political power here. paul ryan pick meant we're supposed to talk about numbers. it has not gone that direction.
>> i think romney 's budget is engrained in a long-term philosophy that they have had for years, for decades. they want to get rid of the new deal. this will starve the beast. this budget will starve the beast in their words. it will set the table for getting rid of a new deal. here comes a young conservative who will give a vision of own your own health care and retirement and education. it's your own society. so go do what you want. i think it connects with some of the stories of hey we've got a bunch of people at the republican convention that have talked about pulling up the boot straps. they made it. why can't you? be that american. i think it's the new deal and i think it's a fast track to a flat tax . that's what they want.
>> here is the victory, though. in picking ryan . we're talking about actual projections on 2016 . there is a fire raging throughout the country of joblessness. there is an absolute, all hands on deck emergency of wasted human capital that literally as we speak at this moment is declining. the longer they're out of the workforce, the less their employable. what we're talking about because of paul ryan 's entrance and this is the victory of his entrance is the projections of the federal budget in 2016 and 2020 and 2021 . what we aren't talking about is how to get people back to work tomorrow which would increase deficit spending in the short-term. that has been completely removed from the table of possible options.
>> and the paul ryan of 2002 which when george w. bush was doing stimulus spending in order to get people back employed would have argued exactly what you just argued.
>> he voted for it. not just argue it. he voted everything that bush put out there that increased the deficit. so you're dealing with someone who did believe in a stimulus plan, two wars, and the tax cut who has now done the opposite. and when you have them -- whether it's lying about a plant or lying about math that just doesn't add up, lying by any other name is lying.