Think Progress: an excerpt from the interview:
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I want to maintain defense spending at the current level of the GDP. I don’t want to keep bringing it down as the president’s doing. This sequestration idea of the White House, which is cutting our defense, I think is an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction.
DAVID GREGORY: Republican leaders agreed to that deal to the extend the debt ceiling.
MITT ROMNEY: And that’s a big mistake. I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it.
Did Gregory point out that Romney’s running mate, Lyin’ Paul Ryan, voted for those cuts in defense spending? WHAT DO YOU THINK? And, as Think Progress points out, Paul Ryan is also crticizing the sequestor on the campaign trail. THE ONE HE VOTED FOR. These two are a perfectly matched team.
Kevin Drum: Mitt Romney doesn’t hate Obamacare quite as much as he’s been telling the tea partiers for the past year:
“Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. ”One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.” Romney also said he would allow young adults to keep their coverage under their parents’ health-insurance.
Under normal circumstances, I’d write a long post about how ridiculous this is. If you guarantee that people with preexisting conditions can get coverage, people will game the system by getting coverage only when they get sick. To avoid that, you have to create a stable risk pool for insurers by mandating that everyone maintain coverage all the time. And if you have a mandate, then you need to subsidize poor people, which in turn means you have to have a funding source for the subsidies. More here.
Like I said, that’s what I’d do under normal circumstances. But host David Gregory didn’t bother asking Romney about any of these pesky details, and I guess I can hardly blame him since Romney wouldn’t have answered. This is just another one of Romney’s secret plans, like which tax loopholes he’ll close, how he’ll win the war in Afghanistan, and who will pay the price if Medicare costs rise faster than his growth cap. Romney has diligently refused to answer any of these questions, and he’s even been fairly honest about why: if he explained all this stuff, some of the answers would be unpopular and the Obama campaign would point that out.
Think Progress: No follow up on the secret tax loophole closure plan either:
GREGORY: Give me an example of a loophole you will close?
ROMNEY: Well I can tell you that people at the high end, high-income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they’d get a tax break, and I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers. I’m bringing down the rate of taxation, but also brigning down deductions and exemptions at the high end so that the revenues stay the same, the taxes people pay stay the same — middle income people are going to get a break, but at the high end the tax coming in stays the same…
Romney’s plan, in reality, would provide the very richest Americans a $264,000 tax break. It also maintains current tax rates on investments that are otherwise set to expire at the end of the year, and it eliminates the estate tax, paid by only the richest one-quarter of one percent of Americans.
Romney is apparently arguing that he will raise enough revenue through the elimination of tax loopholes that benefit the rich to totally offset the tax cut he provides them, though an analysis from the Tax Policy Center found that to be a mathematical impossibility. There simply isn’t enough revenue to be generated through the closure of those loopholes to offset the massive cost of Romney’s plan, and even if it was possible, Romney again declined to provide host David Gregory a single loophole he would favor closing.