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After his acceptance speech in Tampa, Fla., Mitt Romney repeated his pledge to slash the deficit and balance the budget, vowing to lead where Republicans have failed in the past.
“We’re going to finally have to do something that Republicans have spoken about for a long time, and for a while we didn’t do it,” he told a crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday. “When we had the lead we let people down. We need to make sure we don’t lead them down this time — I will cut the deficit and get us on track to a balanced budget.”
The remark received a roaring applause. But it’s difficult to square with many of Romney’s other promises, which involve raising federal spending or reducing revenues, that are core to his case against President Obama. For instance, Romney has vowed to restore the $716 billion in cuts to Medicare provider reimbursements under Obama.
His plan to make Medicare solvent by converting it into a voucher system would not take effect for a decade, and without Obama’s cuts the program is projected to go bankrupt by 2016.
The Republican nominee has also pledged to roll back the president’s $489 billion in 10-year military cuts as well as the half a trillion dollars in 10-year automatic Pentagon cuts, known as sequestration, established in last year’s debt limit law.
In addition to that, Romney’s plan to cut taxes across the board would diminish revenues by $5 trillion, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. That doesn’t include the hit to the treasury if the Bush tax cuts on high incomes are extended. He maintains that he’ll recover the revenues by closing tax loopholes, but he and his campaign have steadfastly refused to identify a credit or deduction he’d unwind.