Romney: CBO report findings 'unacceptable'
August 22nd, 2012
09:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney: CBO report findings 'unacceptable'

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday referred to a new Congressional Budget Office report that outlines the potentially dismal impact of the impending "fiscal cliff" as "unacceptable."

The CBO report found that the spending cuts and tax increases would result in a recession and higher unemployment. However, the report also said it would improve the outlook of the federal government's budget deficit.

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"Today was a very revealing day, because the CBO came out and said we're going to have another, a fourth year in a row with over a trillion dollars of spending above revenue. Unacceptable," Romney said Wednesday evening to a crowd of roughly 100 people at a fund-raiser at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.

Romney continued, "This is a challenging time for America, and one thing I will do is I will finally cut federal spending, encourage growth, and by virtue of those two things get America to a balanced budget."

The so-called fiscal cliff comprises a massive amount of tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to kick in beginning in January of next year. Among the fiscal changes is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and $1.2 trillion in widespread federal cuts that will be triggered if Congress fails to reach an alternative deficit-reduction plan by the end of the year.

The scheduled automatic cuts–also known as sequestration–came about as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, a compromise budget measure passed into law after Congressional negotiations failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan last fall.

Romney's remarks Wednesday night built on a statement released by the campaign earlier in the day that pinned responsibility on President Barack Obama for the CBO's findings.

Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote in the statement that the report was "another indictment of President Obama's economic policies that have resulted in overspending, increasing debt, and a growing financial burden on the next generation."

"The Romney-Ryan Plan will get America back on track with lower spending and 12 million new jobs for middle-class families," she wrote Wednesday.

Romney's vice presidential pick, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, along with many other Republicans, voted for the passage of the Budget Control Act last year, which triggered a series of steps that could lead to sequestration. It was signed into law by Obama on August 2, 2011 and was also supported by Democrats.

At the time, he said the measure represented "a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy."

Democrats, however, point the blame at Republicans as responsible for the impending fiscal cliff.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wrote that Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, had "chosen to double down on the same failed policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place."

"They're willing to hold the middle class hostage unless we also give massive new tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires – tax cuts we can't afford that would do nothing to strengthen the economy," Carney wrote.

Romney's comments were made at an event expected to raise "safely over $2 million," the single largest fund-raising event in the history of Arkansas, according to the Romney campaign.

Over 250 tickets for the event were sold, costing between $2,500 and $50,000 per person.

– CNN's Dana Davidsen, Kevin Liptak, Gregory Wallace and CNNMoney's Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Budget • Congressional Budget Office • Mitt Romney
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Blame for the impending fiscal cliff falls directly at the feet of Tea Party politicians in the House and Senate who refuse to make bi-partisan compromises. They are just say NO extremists who rather see the nation fall into ruin rather than do the right thing.

    August 22, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. ron

    You're right, Romney Hood. It is "unacceptable". So, why don't you do something about it and tell the republicans in the house to vote on the Senate tax bill that was approved last month and the President's jobs bill? And, ask McConnell and Boehner.....where are the jobs!?

    August 22, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Pete

    Now Romneys calling the impartial CBO as liars,when will this ignorence end.Can't he be realistic and hope for better ,but you're as bad as your congressional collegues that are happy because of their obstructionistic ways but are doing one thing too,getting fired after November,see ya ,both of you...

    August 22, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. SafeJourney

    President Obama proposed a "grand bargain" with Boehner with 4Trillion in cuts and a balanced approach. Everyone pays their fair share and everyone feels the pain. Republicans walked away from the table.
    Republicans want President Obama to fail and they have said so several times in the past, McConnell is just one Repub that siad that. Repubs walked away from the table because that deal would have made President Obama look good, regardless that it would have HELPED the country. .Repubs are not about helping the country anymore. It's all about party allegiance to Grover Norguist, not allegiance to the American people.

    August 22, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. AlaskaHound

    We all know it comes down to sentiment of the American people and businesses.
    The sentiment will not improve until an environment is made possible for a clear look ahead.
    We all know what that means, don't we...

    August 22, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. mb

    The GOP won't compromise because Grover would get mad at them. And they will do all they can do to make him happy. The dems were willing to except spending cuts and tax hikes. That would have given both parties what they wanted. But the GOP signed a pledge to Grover not to raise taxes, and if they did he would ruin their political career. The GOP has sold out to big money and Grover. At least the dems are still some what on the middle classes side, and they will tell it like it is on why were in this big mess. Obama and the rest of the dems in 2012 will get my vote. Stand up to the GOP, big money, and Grover on election day and send them a message that the pledge they signed did end their political career. Not for raising taxes on the 1%, but for failing to raise taxes on the 1%.

    August 22, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. Not Stupid

    Hmm.. perhaps if the 1% returned the many, many trillions they removed/stole from the economy and have chosen to "hide" for themselves since 2008 ..things wouldn't be the way they are now..? I mean, Republicans have been forever using the reasoning that the amount of money removed from the economy through the illicit drug trade was incentive enough to carry on a "war against drugs"..! So, it begs the question.. where is the war on These economic criminals/traitors..??

    August 22, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Not Stupid

    It sure is peculiar how most people seem to be more concerned with the proverbial drop(s) in the bucket.. than they are with the many gallons already in it...! Complaining about food stamps and welfare whilst completely ignoring the extremely more massive welfare that corporations and the wealthiest are r[e]aping is akin to attacking your neighbor as a thief for borrowing your rake for a day longer than agreed upon while the both of you moronically watch both of your homes being cleaned out by a dozen burglars with moving vans.

    August 22, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. T'sah From Virginia

    Shut Up Romney – There is more in the WH to blame than President Obama – you had a DO-NOTHING congress whose number one mission was to make President Obama a one-term president!!! Romney accusing President Obama for EVERYTHING is OLD and BORING!! RomneyHood's sidekick – RobinHOOD voted for this and is now trying to Etch-A-Sketch it away....... Both Romney and Ryan are LIARS and it's so obvious.

    WHERE ARE YOUR TAXES RobMeHood???

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 22, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Crismn

    Guess what? Spending cuts from the government during a delicate economy cause recession! The republican solution has been tried in Greece... It didn't work! Republicans want to turn us into a failed economy like the Greek one!

    August 22, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. Mike

    Help me understand this. I need to check my MENSA membership because maybe I missed something here, but there are automatic tax increases and spending cuts that go into place (assuming we have any level of courage left in Congress) both of which serve to lower the deficit. Romney calls that unacceptable because these moves will have a negative effect on the economy? His plan would be to cut spending and add 12 million jobs over 4 years?

    How dense are we assumed to be? Next Governor Romney will start bitching about Obama playing too much golf, in an interview that he gives while on a golf course.

    Splendid. Just once I would like to hear a candidate say "No, that doesn't make sense". Instead, they seem to think that we are all just lapping this crap up.

    August 22, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Sarah

    Mitt, turn the rage on Ryan. He's one of the ones who can't put together a budget.

    August 22, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. Thomas

    It's funny to me that Romney never talked about a fiscal cliff four years ago when he was running for president .

    Do you think two ten year war's had any cost ? Oh and it's nice that his five sons all avoided voluntary military service.

    August 22, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  14. Dan5404

    The GOP is totally responsible foir the fiscal cliff. Obama worked out a major agreement to cut spending plus raising rvenue with GOP Hopuse speaker John Boehner, but he got called on the carpet by TP extremists and Grover Norquist and backed out of the deal.

    August 22, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. Mark

    Romney, backed by tens of millions of dollars, and supported by K. Rowe Is telling the biggest lies of all elections, worst than george Bush.
    Obama did NOT take away the work section from those on welfare. This is Romney big LIE. Repbulicans, along with Ryand and Atkins have passed over 200 bills taking away women rights to health care. The Republican platform says there are no exceptions for an abortion, same as Atkins. Republicans DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THEM OR YOU WOULD VOTE AGAINST THEM. THEY WANT YOU TO BE SURPRISE WHEN THE END MEDICARE, HEALTH CARE, UNEMPLOYMENT, THE PAL TUITION FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS. VOTE SMART IN OCT/NOV.

    August 22, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  16. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Romney the tax cheat ,you are not in charge of anything except your dumb staffers ,after you lose in Nov ,disappearing and take your family and money with you ,oh, that's right,all your money is already out of the country !!!!

    August 22, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  17. Jan

    So now the Republicans don't like the plan that they shoved down the President's throat two years ago.....Now it is the President's fault that these cuts to defense will take place....Really? Where was Romney when this was all going on? The Cayman Islands?

    August 22, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. Larry L

    Romney needs to talk to his political party – those who held America hostage and forced this situation. When compromise became a dirty word in Republican circles and the tea Party radicals in the Congress decided to block all legislation solving the debt crisis we arrived at this position. I think Democrats need to call their hand – force America over the cliff and let them have a taste of a nation with no federal governmant – like Somalia. How well will the fat-cats do in that environment? When the rich take too much the poor come and get their share...

    August 22, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Phil Thomas

    Blame your side Kick and his cronies, "our number goal is to make the president a one term president". Congrats Idiots you will probably reach your goal, the bought and paid for supreme court that gave you citizens united also has paved the way fro these super packs to own thier own senators like pets. Pathetic

    August 22, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  20. myviewis

    President Obama cannot even handle the finances of his own presidential campaign, he spend more money than he brought in putting him in the red $9.80 million dollars, less alone can he handle the finances of our country. This man has no financial experience ( in other words, Obama is lousy handling money), he's spends money non-stop and doesn't care. Obama is like the college student whose parents give him a credit card for emergencies and goes out and spends it up to the limit or passed the credit limit. Completely reckless with money.

    August 22, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  21. jinx88

    "The Romney-Ryan Plan will get America back on track with lower spending and 12 million new jobs for middle-class families". Yeah right!!

    August 22, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  22. Phil Thomas

    Mitt Romney is like a Pro Heckler, no plan of his own but he is always ready to comment on what the President is doing, lie, distort, shut up Mitt. If you want to get up on Stage and do a show, give us some details, plans, etc. if not shut up and stop interrupting the show because your not adding value. Then this guy cries the minute the president jabs back at him. Pathetic

    August 22, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  23. Cindy Krafft

    Really, could unemployment get any worst ? Could the economy get any worst? No longer can you blame President Bush. It's time that the current presidency take credit for the economic down fall. He did not do what he promised me he was going to do. I'm not blaming anyone. But I'm saying he should have not made the promises he did. Shame on him for lieing to all the American people.
    shame ,shame, shame. He must live with himself His emberisment he has places on his own children..

    August 22, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  24. oaksavanna

    I don't think Romney gets it. The CBO says the cuts will help the deficiet but cause recession and higher unemployment. But he wants to double down on cuts now? That is a sure way to send us into a depression.

    August 22, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  25. oaksavanna

    Does Romney not get it? The CBO comes right out and says these cuts will reduce the deficiet but at a cost. Higher unemployment and increase the recession. That is what is happening in the UK as they cut deficients during a recession. Now Romney wants to cut deficiets even more. That will send us into a real depression.

    August 22, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
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