LOS ANGELES -- Mitt Romney has a new ad out, touting what he'll do on his first day as president. "Day One," the narrator intones, "President Romney announces deficit reductions, ending the Obama era of big government."
That's pretty much what Romney has been saying all along. As president, he'll cut spending and end an era of what he views as dangerous government growth.
But on Day One?
In an interview with Time magazine's Mark Halperin, Romney talks about why he wouldn't actually cut spending right away. It's a quote that liberal bloggers are seizing on to show that Romney, like President Barack Obama, believes in Keynesian economics, with its allowance for running sizable government deficits.
Here's what Romney said when asked why his plans for cuts are gradual and why he wouldn't hit the ground running with his budget shears:
"Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5 percent. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I'm not going to do that, of course. What you do is you make adjustments on a basis that show, in the first year, actions that over time get you to a balanced budget."
So, for instance, he said, "I'm going to take action immediately by eliminating programs like Obamacare, which become more and more expensive down the road -- by eliminating them, we get to a balanced budget. And I'd do it in a way that does not have a huge reduction in the first year, but instead has an increasing reduction as time goes on, and given the growth of the economy, you don't have a reduction in the overall scale of the GDP. I don't want to have us go into a recession in order to balance the budget."