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New York Magazine

Jonathan Chait

The real news in Mitt Romney’s interview with Mark Halperin, as Charles Pierce points out, is that Romney openly repudiated the central argument his party has been making against [Alleged] President Obama for the last three years: that he spent too much money and therefore deepened the economic crisis. Indeed Romney himself had been making this very case as recently as a week ago (“he bailed out the public sector, gave billions of dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined. The consequence is that we are enduring the most tepid recovery in modern history.”) But in his Halperin interview, Romney frankly admits that reducing the budget deficit in the midst of an economic crisis would be a horrible idea:

Halperin: You have a plan, as you said, over a number of years, to reduce spending dramatically. Why not in the first year, if you’re elected — why not in 2013, go all the way and propose the kind of budget with spending restraints, that you’d like to see after four years in office? Why not do it more quickly?

Romney: Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression.  So I’m not going to do that, of course.

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