Republicans are Crazy and Nobody Cares, Part 754

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Jared Bernstein notes that if he’s elected president, Mitt Romney has promised to “immediately move to cut spending and cap it at 20 percent of GDP.” That’s crazy with the economy so sluggish, but in fact, it’s even crazier than that. Here are budget projections for 2013 from the OMB:

  • Medicare: $534 billion
  • Social Security: $807 billion
  • Other mandatory: $858 billion
  • Interest: $320 billion
  • Defense: $675 billion
  • Total: $3,194 billion

The first four items are mandatory and Romney can’t do anything about them, and I think he’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t plan to cut defense spending. These five items collectively amount to 19.06% of projected GDP in 2013.

In other words, Romney is proposing that everything else in the budget be immediately cut to 0.94% of GDP. That’s all he has left to fund the FAA, the border patrol, the FBI, overseas embassies, highways, disaster relief, the SEC, the court system, NASA, prisons, national parks, school lunches, flood control, medical research, and everything else in the domestic discretionary budget. That’s an 87% cut in those programs.

This is the guy who used to run Bain Consulting? It doesn’t look to me like he can even read a balance sheet.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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