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Economy Update: Meshing the Romney and Ryan Budget Plans

by Newsteam Staff
August 14, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Ashland, Virginia August 11, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters). Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Ashland, Virginia August 11, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters).

Though the campaign insists presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate and chairman of the House Budget Committee, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, see eye-to-eye in a campaign largely focused on the U.S. economy and the future of government spending, some analysts and pundits are noting the differences in their budget plans.

Without offering details (AP), the Romney campaign has admitted that the running mates have their differences on the budget but that they are still “on the same page.” (WSJ) “The thing you have to remember about this campaign is that Gov. Romney is at the top of the ticket,” Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden told reporters Sunday (WashPost).

At The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn writes that while the Romney-Ryan broader budgetary intentions mesh well, Romney’s specific plans are more radical than Ryan’s. He notes that Romney has called for capping federal spending at 20 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, committing him to major federal spending cuts if elected.

Romney’s plan also would not let defense spending dip below 4 percent of GDP, which could prove difficult to reconcile with Ryan’s desire to drastically shrink the size of the federal government, says The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki. He says “the only way for Ryan’s numbers to work would be to effectively eliminate nearly all non-defense discretionary spending, including not just much of the social safety net but infrastructure spending, R. & D. investment, federal support for education, air-traffic control, regulatory and public safety spending, and so on.”

When Ryan released the House budget in March, Romney praised the spending plan, which is also backed by the Republican party, saying it was similar to his own economic plan, particularly on matters of tax cuts and reducing federal spending.

For more on the candidates’ stances, check this issue tracker on The Candidates and the Economy.

Suggested Other Reading:

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson breaks down how the Ryan budget plan would impact the household budget of U.S. taxpayers and those who receive benefits from federally run programs.

The New York Times outlined the major differences between President Barack Obama’s budget plan and that of the House when Ryan released his version in March.

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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