Romney's Iran policy would cripple the economy
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney used Super Tuesday to issue a broadside against the Obama administration’s Iran policy.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whose narrow victory in Ohio late Tuesday night allowed him to cling to his frontrunner status in the race for the Republican nomination, used Super Tuesday to issue a broadside against the Obama administration’s Iran policy. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Romney called the president’s approach to stopping the ayatollahs’ nuclear program “feckless” and vowed to teach the Iranians “the meaning of American resolve.”
Forget for a moment that foreign and military policy analysts immediately dismissed Romney’s specific proposals as nothing more than a rehash of Obama’s approach, which combines escalating economic sanctions and a show of military force in the Persian Gulf with demands that Iran return to negotiating table to bring its nuclear program within the International Atomic Energy Agency’s purview. Those efforts bore fruit yesterday when Iran agreed to talks that will include the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
More significantly for long-run U.S. policy, Romney used the Iran crisis to repeat his vow to ramp up military spending should he become president. “My foreign policy will be the same as Ronald Reagan’s: namely, ‘peace through strength’,” he wrote.
Restoring America’s standing in the world depends just as much on restoring budget discipline as it does on carrying a big stick.
The centerpiece of his reprise of the Reagan-era build-up would be stepping up the navy’s shipbuilding rate from 9 to 15 ships a year. He also promised to press forward with regional ballistic missile defense systems in the Middle East and East Asia.
Romney’s plans bear closer scrutiny from anyone, including those in the military’s top brass, who believes that restoring America’s standing in the world depends just as much on restoring budget discipline as it does on carrying a big stick. His call for an 8 percent increase in inflation-adjusted military spending would require not just cancellation of next year’s sequestration budget cuts, but a roll back of the nearly $500 million in military cuts contained in the Budget Control Act and incorporated into the president’s budget plan.
Romney’s proposal to embark on a second straight decade of escalating military spending would be the first time in American history that war preparation and defense spending had increased as a share of overall economic activity for such an extended period of time. When coupled with the 20 percent cut in taxes he promises, it would require shrinking domestic spending to levels not seen since the Great Depression – before programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid began.
Even without additional tax cuts, bringing the budget into balance by the end of this decade with increased military spending would require chopping another trillion dollars out of domestic side of the ledger. That’s about a 20 percent cut in nominal spending, which in inflation-adjusted terms would require elimination or sharp curtailment of much of the nation’s efforts at cleaning the environment, rebuilding infrastructure, supporting low-income housing and investing in medical and scientific research.
After a decade of unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is this level of domestic austerity, which would likely throw the U.S. economy back into recession, what a war-weary public wants or needs?
Cut, cap and balance is a great slogan for Republican primary voters who want to reverse what they say is big government spending and think every program is somebody else’s free lunch, even as they reject any cutbacks to Social Security, Medicare or the home mortgage deduction. But if Romney wants to lead the U.S. down the path to another decade-long military spending spree, he should spell out for the mainstream American electorate exactly where his domestic cuts would be.
How Ann Romney Is Helping Mitt's Image Problem
How Iran and Russia Could Cause an Oil Shock
Romney vs. the Three Dwarfs – Can Mitt Nail It?
Obama Bets on the Wrong Horsepower – The Volt
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 added just over a point, holding its weekly gain at 1.0% while the Nasdaq lost 0.4%.
The major averages began the day on an upbeat note, but relinquished their opening gains during the first 90 minutes of action. The early sentiment was boosted by a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K), but a closer look into the report suggested that ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'