Romney’s Budget Proposals Would Require Massive Cuts in Medicare and Other Programs

Governor Mitt Romney’s proposals to cap total federal spending, boost defense spending, cut taxes, and balance the budget would require extraordinarily large cuts in other programs, according to an updated analysis that we released today.

If policy­makers exempted Social Security from the cuts, as Governor Romney has suggested, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and all other entitlement and discretionary programs by the same percentage, then nondefense programs other than Social Security would have to be cut 29 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2022.  Without the balanced budget requirement, the cuts would be smaller but still massive, reaching 40 percent in 2022.

The cuts that would be required under the Romney budget proposals in programs such as veterans’ disability compensation, Supple­mental Security Income for poor elderly and disabled individuals, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and child nutrition programs would move millions of households below the poverty line or drive them deeper into poverty.  The cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would make health insurance unaffordable (or unavailable) to tens of millions of people.  The cuts in non­defense discretionary programs — which include a wide variety of public services such as elemen­tary and secondary education, law enforcement, veterans’ health care, environmen­tal protection, and biomedical research — would come on top of the deep cuts in this part of the budget that are already in law due to the discretionary funding caps established in last year’s Budget Control Act.

Governor Romney’s cuts would be substantially deeper than those required under the austere House-passed budget plan authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).  Over the 2014-2022 period, Romney would require $7 trillion to $10 trillion in cuts to programs other than Social Security and defense; the Ryan budget would make slightly more than $5 trillion in comparable cuts.   

These updated estimates are based on new information and budget proposals from the governor, updated budget and economic projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), modifications in the Center’s assumptions about “current policy” to match those that CBO and other budget analysts use, and other factors.

Click here for the full report.

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More About Paul N. Van de Water

Paul N. Van de Water

Paul N. Van de Water is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and health coverage issues.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at

3 Comments Add Yours ↓

Comments are listed in reverse chronological order.

  1. 1

    Why does the sole issuer of our currency, the Federal Government/Federal Reserve, need to raise revenue? The Fed found $13 trillion to bail out the FIRE sector, 2008-2010. Whose paying for that? No one. FACT: The Fed just credits bank accounts by fiat, like it has always done, since 1913, “Thin Air Money.”

    What constrains it from doing the same for the non-FIRE sector? Nothing, except the subversive, anti-populist attitudes of Republicans and bond holders.

    Boehner/Ryan and Obama/Reid have little effective knowledge of how America’s monetary and fiscal operations work.

    How can any responsible leader continue uttering the canard that America will go broke in the face of the following:

    Axioms=Indisputable Facts:

    #1 The U.S. as an autonomous fiat currency issuer cannot go broke in that currency.

    #2 The Federal Government is not dependent upon taxation or borrowing to spend.

    #3 The Federal Government must issue dollars/currency before it taxes or borrows.

    #4 The Federal Government does not depend upon foreign governments to finance its expenditures.

    #5 We cannot burden our grandchildren with todays debt. Our grandhildren will consume all they produce.

    #6 In all national accounting, imports are savings and exports are costs.

    #7 The Federal Government’s deficit is equal, to the penny, to the private sector’s net financial assets.

    We need to deficit spend until unemployment is reduced to 3-4%.

  2. 2

    Dear Sirs, I would prefer that my comment not be cencored, because there is really nothing threatening or dirogitory in it. nor is there any curse words. I try to never curse. But, I will tell the honest truth. Thank you, Beatrice D. Wood

  3. 3

    Dear Mr. Romney, I wish you would try living on what we are forced to live on and try paying the taxes that we are forced to pay so that you politicians can live very cushy and comfy in your tax paid for mansions. try paying the rent that we are forced to pay because Reagan unfroze the rental freeze. Try paying the doctor bills that we are forced to pay because you keep cutting our medicaid and medicare. Take the price cuts that we always have to take because you don’t want to live as we have to live. see what it is like from this side of the ticket. Then tell us that your very sorry. Thank you, Beatrice D. Wood

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