Romney: Protecting the Rich Is More Important Than Deficit Reduction

Bill Scher

On CNBC yesterday, Mitt Romney said:

What the president should do is say look, we’re going to extend for at least a year the–well, I’d like to see it permanent, but at least a year–the current tax environment. This sequestration related to defense spending, in particular, has to be put off … whichever president is going to be elected, at least six months or a year to get those policies in place. So let’s extend where we are now as opposed to looking at a cliff in January…

Let’s remember what this “cliff” is. It’s a two-fold bipartisan agreement.

There’s the 2010 bipartisan tax cut deal, which, in exchange for additional middle-class tax cuts and jobless aid, extended the Bush tax cuts until the end of 2012.

And the 2011 bipartisan debt limit deal, which, if no deficit reduction agreement is struck, imposes automatic spending cuts, particularly on the military budget, at the end of the 2012.

The latter deal was made with the clear understanding on all sides that it would put pressure on Republicans to give up their absolutist position opposing any tax increase for the wealthy. Continued Republican obstructionism means deep cuts to another one of their priorities: military spending.

Romney’s response to this hard bipartisan bargain in the name of deficit reduction, a policy which Romney argues is essential to prevent America’s decline?

Junk it.

Because anything that would change the “current tax environment” so cherished by the most selfish of the 1%, even if it would help achieve Romney’s own stated goal of a “balanced budget within eight to 10 years,” should be verboten.

Romney is making his priorities clear. We should pay attention.

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