Romney proposes $500 billion in cuts by 2016
November 4th, 2011
02:23 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney proposes $500 billion in cuts by 2016

Washington (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined his plan to shrink the size of government Friday, promising to cut spending levels to 20% of GDP by the end of his first term.

To reach that goal, Romney said, the government must find $500 billion in annual savings by 2016.

Speaking in Washington at the "Defending the American Dream Summit," a conference sponsored by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity," the former Massachusetts governor outlined a three-step plan for scaling back federal costs while also maintaining a robust commitment to military spending.

"I will make the federal government simpler, smaller, and smarter by eliminating programs, by sending programs back to the states, and by making government itself more productive," Romney said.

Romney won applause by pledging to slice funding to a litany of conservative bogeymen that receive federal funds, outfits like the National Endowment for the Arts, Amtrak and Planned Parenthood.

The biggest cost-saver under his plan would be a proposal to let individual states manage Medicaid and limit the program's growth to the consumer price index, plus one percent.

That would save the government $100 billion a year, Romney said.

Enabling states to handle workforce training dollars would save "billions of dollars," he added.

Romney's other proposals included:

– Re-structuring Social Security and Medicare, including letting seniors choose between federal coverage and private health insurance plans

– Reducing foreign aid to countries that don't need it and countries "that oppose American interests."

– Cutting the size of the federal workforce and linking government salaries to private sector salaries

– Combining wasteful government agencies

Democrats attacked Romney's plan earlier in the day.

A memo released by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign Friday said the Romney plan would destroy Medicare and Medicaid, enact cuts that would hurt the middle class and provide tax breaks to corporations.

"He would return American families to the failed economic policies that contributed to the years of rising inequality, stagnant wages, and eroding middle-class security," the memo said.

In a web video, the Democratic National Committee said the plan by the GOP presidential candidate would seriously hurt middle class families, saying the plan was something "only a billionaire could love."


Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. United We Stood

    Spoken like a true corporate raider, with no regard for middle and lower income families. Bain, baby, Bain. Love that photo of the well-lubed weathervane holding the cash.

    November 4, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. nick

    great idea, oh yeah ron paul already proposed even bigger cuts!

    November 4, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Steph

    I didn't know seniors right now are FORCED to enroll in medicare. All the seniors I know LOVE medicare. They happily walk away from employer plans when they retired, or they have to pay for horribly expensive COBRA plans until they reached social security eligibility age. How many seniors do you know who don't have at least one preexisting condition. What private insurance plan would take them (unless Obamacare staying in effect, thus banning the horrible practice of excluding people for preexisting conditions).

    November 4, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Steph

    He's looking out for people, but only the people who happen to be multinational corporations.

    November 4, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. TomInRochNY

    Why can't the GOP give us real ideas, instead of these retread ideas that never worked right for the past thirty years?

    November 4, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    It's a little more complicated than just I'm going to cut this or I'm going to cut that. Our manufacturing jobs are gone. Nearly 60,000 factories closed in the last 10 years, shipping those jobs overseas.

    Our defense budget is off the charts. Why do we have to police the world? Is that really our place?

    What about our politicians themselves, and their travel and staff expenses, along with benefits we pay that are out of line with what they expect us to accept?

    And why is it acceptable practice to want to cut from those who can least afford it, while giving more to those who don't need it? The proportions are way out of wack. GE pays no taxes, and receptionists pay 30% or more. How can this be?

    Like I said, way more complicated than just a simple we're going to cut this or that.

    November 4, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. John B

    I'm sure you'll find a way to do it Mitt! SS...Medicare....food stamps....medicaid can all be cut way back. I heard Education is still getting some money too. Who needs all that stuff. That pesky Planned Parenthood...oh think of all the things you can cut!!!

    I'll bet you won't cut defense spending though.

    November 4, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    In a web video, the Democratic National Committee said the plan by the GOP presidential candidate would seriously hurt middle class families, saying the plan was something "only a billionaire could love."

    This says it ALL. Only a billionaire would love this. Middle class workers WE MUST STAND UP AND SAY NO TO WILLARD! A vote for Willard is a vote to lose your house, your health care and most of all YOUR JOB. Don't be fooled or intimated by Willard's promises. He's a pathological liar and a master flip flopper. Just say NO.

    November 4, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Romney made his millions breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and shipping American jobs overseas.

    'Nuff said.

    November 4, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. ST

    Whatever Romney intends to cut or put the country in the right track, I do not trust this man at all. I do not know what he can do to gain my trust. The man has been flip-flopping a lot. Go away Mitt and when you learn what it takes to be trust worthy person, then come back to me!

    November 4, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    This is all part of the GOP plan to privatize everything in government. Folks who think this is a good idea should go live where there isn't a government or not much of one, say Somalia or any third-world nation.

    Knock your socks off!

    November 4, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "- Re-structuring Social Security and Medicare, including letting seniors choose between federal coverage and private health insurance plans

    – Reducing foreign aid to countries that don't need it and countries "that oppose American interests."

    – Cutting the size of the federal workforce and linking government salaries to private sector salaries

    – Combining wasteful government agencies"
    ----–

    Translation:

    – Killing Social Security and Medicare by duping seniors into believing their money is as safe and dependable if invested privately with the same Wall Street firms that blew up our economy.

    – Reducing foreign aid to countries that don't need it and countries "that oppose American interests." = Substanceless rhetorical blather that is intended to sound nice and is targetting people angry about the necessity of foreign aid as part of our foreign relations and NATIONAL SECURITY policies.

    – Eviscerating the ferderal gov't but reducing workforce and therby threatening gov't efficacy and efficiency and capability of carrying out its enforcement duties pursuant to various statutes and regulatory schema and thereby engaging in de facto deregulation. Making sure the federal employees who are left get just as screwed as private emplyees under the plutocratic new world order the GOP is constructing is jus icing on the cake.

    – Combining wasteful government agencies = Going Bain all over the federal gov't, merging all sorts of agencies so that workforce can be reduced and thereby not reducing the ability of those agencies to carry out their duties as a result of workforce reductions but also because they now are trying to do the jobs of multiple agencies with a fraction of the workforce.

    November 4, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    "...letting seniors choose between federal coverage and private health insurance plans." He doesn't think seniors are all that smart, does he?

    November 4, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. kachy

    Two words – CAR SALESMAN

    November 4, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Michael

    Obama can only spend, spend, spend – steal from the rich and give to the poor! Not everything is fair in this life. A lot if it comes down to hard work. Seniors and disabled people need help, but people who are able to help themselves, but unwilling to do so, should not be kept by someone else! Go Romney! He will do a better job than Obama!!

    November 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Ann Marie

    Think again is right on!

    November 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. GaryB

    Setting goals is great, but unless you provide details as to how you are going to reach those goals, you're useless. Romney's one detail as to how he would cut the federal budget? He would shift more spending back to the states. You know half of whom are teetering on banckruptcy. Good plan! But what do you expect from a guys whose main business experience was buying companies so he could lay off the workers, sell of the parts and make he and his rich friends richer.

    November 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. JP

    The federal budget will be down 500m before the winner of 2012 election even takes office with Obama's pull-outs from Iraq and Afghanistan, LOL.
    And yes, please cut SS benefits so you can borrow from SS to balance the books a little better.
    Shift financial burdens from the federal to the states so that they raise their regressive fees and sales taxes, also great idea!
    Do their supporters even listen or try to comprehend the ideas these clowns are proposing or is vilifying Obama sufficient to elect even Satan?

    November 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. vet in texas

    building up defense means more private contractors, thus the reason the GOP is not wanting the automatic defense cuts, it will hurt the donators.

    getting rid of "some" departments means gutting the EPA and dept of education, thus giving money to the charter schools (ran by Carly Fiona, Meg Whitman, Clarence Thomas' wife, and of course one of the Koch women

    EPA being gone frees Koch industries from any responsibility

    Remember this America, in the past 5 years:

    WITHOUT REGULATION, CORPORATIONS WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY, POISON YOUR WATER, AND GIVE YOUR KIDS CANCER!

    I would love for any of the usual GOP posters to disagree.

    November 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Rick

    How? Setting up gay reclamation centers across the country that your family would own and run?

    November 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Jon

    "conservative bogeymen" – nice objectivity there, CNN

    November 4, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Tom

    He's talking the conservative talk. If he wins the nomination and the presidency, we'll expect him to walk the walk. He cannot and must not be another George Bush-style Republican who talks a good game and then tries to spend his way into popularity. Large government cuts come at a political price, but it HAS to be done if we're to get back on some semblance of a sustainable track. We need to get the power out of government and back to the people!!!

    November 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Corporate Employee

    Too many of these posts are launching tired sound bites rather than making any effort to objectively review MItt's plan. I doubt more than 2 of us has read his full economic plan. If you'd apply a fraction of the passion you have for hating corproate america toward educating yourselves, objectively, you would see that main street corporations tend to spend money on themselves, not their shareholders, and that helping corporations have the resources to create more jobs is not the same thing as a wall street banker lining his pockets.

    November 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Obama has to go

    All democrats want is more government and more spending, how is that going to help the middle class? Romney has got it right, cut spending and shrink government. the dems seem to think we can spend are way out of debt, idiots. Romney 2012

    November 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. kayla

    wishful thinking herman monster, you won't even get the nomination

    November 4, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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