Mitt Romney: Delay Spending Cuts For A Year

Mitt Romney says Congress should delay the spending cuts agreed to last August as part of the debt ceiling deal for at least a year:

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Mitt Romney says Congress and the president should delay looming cuts in military and domestic spending for at least one year.

The Republican presidential contender said Friday during a campaign trip to Las Vegas that the cuts would be “terrible,” particularly for the military.


Romney says he wants President Barack Obama and lawmakers to work together to put, in his words, “a year’s runway,” in place to give the next president time to reform the tax system and ensure the military’s needs are met.

So all that rhetoric about cutting spending and such? Just words, apparently. Romney’s view of government is cut from the same Big Government cloth as George W. Bush.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. bluepen9uin says:

    And all those that complain about spending but agree with this are hypocrites.

  2. Jim Henley says:

    “Cuttng spending” is such a vacuous ambition I’m surprised to see Romney decline to embrace it.

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    It’s like the Tea Party – they want to cut spending but when you ask them what they want to cut it turns out not much.

  4. Moosebreath says:


    “And all those that complain about spending the deficit but agree with this are hypocrites.”


  5. C. Clavin says:

    The entire idea behind the sequestration was to make the penalty for failing to come to an agreement so onerous that they wouldn’t fail to come to an agreement. So now they want to just skip over the penalty part.
    And Romney…who claims to want to cut discretionary spending by 20%…doesn’t want to make these cuts to the military…which are comparatively tiny and completely manageable.
    Romney’s numbers don’t add up…even when given the benefit of the doubt.
    Electing him will be another Bush-level calamity.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    It’s always been just words.

    But more importantly, Mr. Romney just let Mr. Obama get to the right of him on spending cuts. Amazing.

    So, summarizing the last month, Mr. Romney won’t release his tax returns, can’t manage a gimme foreign trip without looking silly, snaps at Harry Reid’s bait, can’t get out from under attacks on Bain and now throws away his deficit hawk cred.

    Is it just me or is this campaign incompetent?

  7. Ben Wolf says:

    Republicans understand the importance of spending as much as anyone, they just pretend they don’t because their base doesn’t get it.

  8. llama says:

    Mitt Romney believes what all Republicans believe: we must stop spending money on the middle class, poor people, the elderly, students, and the young, and funnel money towards wars and corporations. He seeks to redistribute money from the middle class to corporations. That he wants to direct large amounts of money to defense contractors is nothing new.

  9. john personna says:

    I’ve always said that a multi-year plan, with curves on spending and tax, was best. So I can give Mitt some credit for not backing cliffs and harsh austerity.

    But of course, a one year delay (“runway”) with unspecified changes to follow isn’t really a designed curve.

    It looks a lot like kick the can.

    It looks more than anything else like kick the can.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    So there you have it …..
    Romney admits Obama is taking the only practical approach.

  11. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, in that entire article there are exactly four words of Romney’s quoted (or allegedly quoted) and the remainder of the prose are the words of a AP reporter and editor. Ergo it would be naive not to be skeptical of that putative news account. Without a transcript there’s no guarantee as to what Romney said or, as importantly, the context in which he said it. Again, it’s a AP article. The whole thing might fall into the fake but accurate category.

    That aside, assuming Romney did in fact call for a one-year delay in the sequestration cuts, the other way to look at it would be as a bridge to get a deal done, as opposed to a cop out. More likely it is a cop out, but Romney’s background is in business and in business when you restructure quite often you leverage the restructuring; it’s not inconceivable that he really believes it’s better to delays things and really intends to strike a fundamental deficit reduction deal. Naive as a babe in the woods, granted, but Romney after all does live in a cocoon.

    In any event, what we actually need to do is to slash federal spending even in nominal not only real terms and simultaneously to pursue policies that boost hiring and growth, but that’s not politically possible. Still too many Democrats in Congress.

    It won’t end well. Eventually deficit spending economies run out of other people’s money and when a country’s debt-to-GDP ratio hits a certain critical mass it then becomes impossible to put any lipstick on that PIIGS, so to speak.

  12. Ron Beasley says:

    @llama: That’s why deficits are only a problem when there is a Democrat in the White House.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Aside from slowing the endless river of cash flowing to defense contractors and ending some generals & admirals pet projects, how is this going to be “terrible” for the military. We are done in Iraq, and winding down in Afghanistan. Let’s spend some money on OUR country and yes, maybe cut spending a bit too.

    GOP claims to be serious about cutting the deficit are a joke. They are serious about unfettered military spending, tax cuts for the rich, and screwing the poor and working/middle class. That’s it.

  14. anjin-san says:

    @ Tsar

    other people’s money

    How many things touch your daily life that were paid for by “other people’s money”? Or are you a hermit with an off the grid cabin deep in the woods?

  15. :LaMont says:

    Part of people’s problem with Washington is that Washington always kicks the can down the road. Yet Romney, in one of his rare decisive moments, claiming not to be tainted by Washington becuase he is no “career politician”, decides that Washington should kick the can down the road. The irony is that he has often-times accused President Obama of not leading when he chooses not to lead in this aspect.

    Now Washington may very well kick this can down the road which explains why Romney probably decided on this. It appears to be a safe bet at the moment. But what Romney don’t realize is that people don’t want business as usual in Washington and that appears to be what Romney is advocating. Let alone the fact that his stance on this contradicts everything he preached regarding the deficit.

    Romney has demonstrated time and time again that he simply is not ready for this gig! It is absolutely scary that he could be so close in the poles.

  16. Just nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Ron Beasley: I thought Sharon Angle put the case well when she said that she was tired of the government “spending my tax money on things that I don’t want and can’t use.” That sums up Tea Party “spending policy.”

  17. Neil Hudelson says:

    It’s not hypocrisy for Romney to state that the cuts should be delayed. These cuts would affect the military. Only cuts that affect the poor and elderly should be fast tracked.

  18. I wonder if Romney is running a more “solo” campaign than we’ve seen in a while. His decisions seem “gut” and without strategic advisement. That seemed true in Britain, in pushing back at Reid, in proposing kick-the-can.

  19. rudderpedals says:

    Now Eric Cantor is calling for a 1 year hiatus but he can’t sell his members on it.

  20. This is Romney’s version of “I’ll have more flexibility after the election.”

  21. An Interested Party says:

    This is Romney’s version of “I’ll have more flexibility after the election.”

    How’s that? When have Republicans ever cut spending when they had complete control of the federal government? This is a very different thing from the statement you quoted…