There was a big breakthrough in the Presidential race, with implications for US fiscal policy, that sort of slipped by unnoticed on a Friday in August. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, argued for a one-year delay in the trigger, the automatic cuts to defense and discretionary spending set to go at the end of the year. Importantly, he did not identify an offset. He merely said that the trigger ought to be delayed.
The Republican presidential contender said Friday during a campaign trip to Las Vegas that the cuts would be “terrible,” particularly for the military [...]
Romney says he wants President Barack Obama and lawmakers to work together to put, in his words, “a year’s runway,” in place to give the next president time to reform the tax system and ensure the military’s needs are met.
Now, Romney is a pretty weak leader of his party. He called for an expiration of wind energy tax credits and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee defied him and passed a one-year extension of that tax break as part of a tax extenders package that got committee approval this week.
But the fiscal cliff is something different entirely, something sure to generate a lot of conversation as we near the election. And the man who will lead his party at the top of the ticket just said that the fiscal cliff should just get extended. He already held the position of extending the Bush tax cuts, and in fact lowering rates even more below that. His party just passed a similar plan through the House this week. And now, Romney wants to extend the trigger. There are no offsets for any of this.
The first thing to say here is that Republicans