2012 Tuesday: A real deficit hawk endorses . . .

David M. Walker has been touring America talking about the need to face facts about our federal debt. Walker, who was U.S. comptroller general under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, came to Atlanta with former Clinton staffer Alice Rivlin and other members of the bipartisan Fiscal Solutions Tour last March: Here’s what I wrote about it at the time (quoting Rivlin but not Walker). He has even been mentioned as a possible independent presidential candidate in the near future; the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman actually wrote a column suggesting that Walker run this year.

So when Walker says he’s endorsing one of the two men who are major-party candidates for president this year, it’s worth listening. Here’s what he wrote in an op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Times:

From a fiscal perspective, I am convinced that both major presidential candidates want to achieve a “grand bargain,” although they clearly differ on how to get there. Unfortunately, while I would prefer to make a decision based on a candidate’s reform plans, neither of the major presidential candidates has outlined a comprehensive and specific fiscal reform plan that meets the six reform criteria that I have advocated. This plan must be pro-growth, socially equitable, culturally acceptable, mathematically accurate, politically feasible, and have meaningful bipartisan support. Therefore, I am basing my decision on who to support as president and other federal offices on the following criteria:

* The person’s breadth and depth of experience.

* The person’s demonstrated leadership ability.

* The person’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and real transformation of government.

* The person’s commitment to working on a bipartisan basis to achieve real results.

Applying these criteria has led me to decide to vote for both Republicans and Democrats in the upcoming federal election races in my home state of Connecticut. Clearly the most important decision is my vote for president, our nation’s CEO.

Based on the above principles, I believe that Gov. Mitt Romney is the clear choice for president.

He has more to say about Romney at the link. But, given the pressing issue of the federal deficits and debt, and the way the Obama campaign has assailed Romney’s tax-reform plan, Walker’s endorsement of Romney instead of Obama is interesting and should carry a lot of weight with his fellow independents.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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142 comments Add your comment

Georgia

October 30th, 2012
11:45 am

Stay firsty my friends.

cc

October 30th, 2012
11:46 am

Clearly Walker has reached a decision that the majority of American citizens have already reached. It is a good endorsement, though, and I’m sure President Romney is happy to have received it.

adam smith's invisible hand

October 30th, 2012
11:48 am

Does Rev. Moon’s group still own the Washington Times?

Georgia

October 30th, 2012
11:55 am

A proper budget plan must be pro-growth, culturally acceptable, socially equitable, mathematically correct, politically feasible and have meaningful bi-partisan support. Okay, take out the redundancies. culturally acceptable = socially equitable……. mathematically correct is intrinsic to a proper balanced budget plan…….. bipartisan support and politically feasible are dittos.

Thus a proper balanced budget must be pro growth, nonpartisan, and leave social security out of it. In other words, impossible. I’m jealous of David M Walker. His tin foil hat works better than mine.

Beyond The Middle of the Road

October 30th, 2012
11:56 am

It is a significant endorsement but it matters very little for two main reasons. (1) I dare say very few folks know who he is let alone recognize his name, and (2) Sandy is going to steal the headlines for days to come, and deservedly so.

Kyle Wingfield

October 30th, 2012
12:00 pm

Beyond @ 11:56: I guess it comes down to whether we think undecided voters (I know I said “independent” earlier, but there’s a lot of overlap) are high-information voters trying to make sense of it all, or low-information voters just now waking up from their political coma.

The former group will know his name and might consider it important. The latter group, if it hears about his endorsement, will probably say, “huh?”

I don’t know which group is larger at this point…

Tall

October 30th, 2012
12:00 pm

…..”Thus a proper balanced budget must be pro growth, nonpartisan, and leave social security out of it. In other words, impossible. I’m jealous of David M Walker. His tin foil hat works better than mine…”

True. It’s obvious where the cuts need to come from. Eventually, political decisions will be made by the currency and interest rate markets. Hopefull, the Chinese banks won’t need to be repaid on those U.S. Treasury securities ahead of maturity.

Dusty

October 30th, 2012
12:03 pm

Good one, Kyle. Another excellent learned score for Romney.

I go away to think about it.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
12:07 pm

We already know how we’ll Obozo will do in dealing with our fiscal problems–he’s committed to making things worse.

Let’s elect someone who loves their country and has a track record of success.

Let’s Vote American.

RC--(R--apoi)

October 30th, 2012
12:12 pm

Well, this guy’s been a deficit nut for generations, so I reckon he knows a thing or two about it. Got a headache? Take two aspirin, balance the budget, pay off the debt, and call me in the morning. Got colledge cost problems? Balance the budget, pay off the debt, and wait a few lifetimes to go to colledge. No jobs out there? Balance the budget, pay off the debt, and stop eating so much.

Anyhow, you get the picture. He’ll probly pop out of his coffin and chew the undertaker out for charging so much before he goes under.

adam smith's invisible hand

October 30th, 2012
12:14 pm

In answer to my own question – yes, according to Wikipedia, those tied to the Unification Church, founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, still own the Washington Times. These conservatives have strange bedfellows.

Beyond The Middle of the Road

October 30th, 2012
12:15 pm

“Let’s Vote American.” So you have no preference between any of the candidates?

Kosh21

October 30th, 2012
12:18 pm

I cannot believe Walker would endorse Romney, whose only plan for the deficit is to cut revenue by $5 Trillion and increase spending (defense) by $2 Trillion. How is that fiscally responsible? Repubs have been trying to “starve the beast” since Reagan tripled the national debt and it never works.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
12:20 pm

Walker was a hero to libtards during Our President Bush’s administration because he constantly railed against His measly $300 billion deficits.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 30th, 2012
12:21 pm

Deficits don’t matter!

~ Dick Cheney

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 30th, 2012
12:22 pm

Repubs have been trying to “starve the beast” since Reagan tripled the national debt and it never works.

No, they haven’t. Republicans only talk that game when they aren’t in power. When they get in power it’s time to throw money about like a sailor in port.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
12:25 pm

Finn agrees with Cheney?

carlosgvv

October 30th, 2012
12:25 pm

Walker lists six things he knows are not going to happen. Then he endorses Romney. What he really wants for the middle class and poor is to “let them eat cake”.

md

October 30th, 2012
12:26 pm

“I cannot believe Walker would endorse Romney, whose only plan for the deficit is to cut revenue by $5 Trillion and increase spending (defense) by $2 Trillion.”

Too funny…….and the biggest change of all…..unleash the private sector, which just so happens to make ALL the capital to run this country, something Obama is totally clueless about……he has this strange notion that the gov’t has it’s own piggy bank and is the benevolent one……..

md

October 30th, 2012
12:28 pm

“What he really wants for the middle class and poor is to “let them eat cake”.”

Keep going in the direction we are going and cake won’t even be an option…….did Greece not teach you folks anything? Spain? How about France? Google can help with one’s education should one avail themselves of the opportunity…………

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 30th, 2012
12:30 pm

Want desperation?

And while Romney also said he would suspend his campaign on Monday and Tuesday, that turns out not to be true. Romney is holding a big rally in Ohio today, which the campaign is pitching as a “storm relief event” in the hope of insulating themselves from criticism.

Using the storm for political means? Check.

southpaw

October 30th, 2012
12:31 pm

Invisible hand-
The article you cited mentions that Moon himself founded the Washington Times. Are you surprised that people close to him own it? Or are you just going for guilt by association? A lot of us conservatives don’t adhere to all of the beliefs of the Unification Church, but if the Unification Church wants to issue a conservative publication, we’re not going to try and censor them. Freedom of speech, and such things.

That Black Guy

October 30th, 2012
12:35 pm

Off topic.

Bruno, hope your family made it through Sandy with no drama.

My brother in Cape May lost power but everyone is ok.

H.E. Pennypacker

October 30th, 2012
12:38 pm

To some extent he is making a point similar to David Brooks and David Frum in that Romney is much more likely to be bipartisan, if nothing else due to the exceptionally high obstinacy of the GOP members of Congress.

MarkV

October 30th, 2012
12:46 pm

Someone who endorses Romney from a fiscal perspective, after Romney had proposed a fiscally totally irresponsible tax plan, has no credibility.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
12:47 pm

Harry Reid is already promising Democrat obstruction regardless of who wins, Pennypacker.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 30th, 2012
12:50 pm

Well, at least we know Walker isn’t retarded.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 30th, 2012
12:51 pm

I take that back, even a tard can see how obvious this is.

JDW

October 30th, 2012
1:03 pm

Interesting logic…doesn’t really hold water but interesting. For example he says

“A super-majority also support putting everything on the table to achieve a fiscal grand bargain, including a combination of spending reductions and additional tax revenue”

Yet he want to endorse the candidate that has already sold his soul to Grover Norquist and has unequivocally said NO NEW REVENUE…bit bassakwards now isn’t it?

His other faulty premise is this one…

“A President Romney would have far more influence over a Republican-controlled House, which seems to be assured.”

Most assuredly true, however he would be at an equal disadvantage with a Democratic Senate which seems equally assured. Walker seems to place great weight on a issue that is going give neither candidate an advantage.

I apply many of his criteria yet reach the opposite conclusion primarily because of this one point…

“I am convinced that both major presidential candidates want to achieve a “grand bargain,””

Romney has said nothing to support that belief and in fact has made a number of statements that run directly contrary to it. A grand bargain must, by definition include spending cuts and revenue increases and Romney is only playing the game with half the cards.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 30th, 2012
1:05 pm

* The person’s breadth and depth of experience.

One can almost see Walker giggling as he typed that one.

Logical Dude

October 30th, 2012
1:05 pm

Quoting the quote: Clearly the most important decision is my vote for president, our nation’s CEO.

Clearly, this person does not comprehend that “CEO” is not the same as “President”.

CEO works for the profit of the company,sometimes at the expense of workers and customers.

Presidents make tough decisions that have nothing to do with money, so trying to make President equal to CEO is just wrong. Sure, some people look at it that way, but it shouldn’t be.

/driveby

sailfish

October 30th, 2012
1:06 pm

I don’t know how he comes to the conclusion that romney’s math is better when nobody knows the answer to what it is exactly that romney will be cutting?

Kyle Wingfield

October 30th, 2012
1:06 pm

JDW @ 1:03: It’s very simple. The choice is between Romney and Obama. The latter has been a fiscal disaster of historic proportions.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
1:07 pm

President Romney never ruled out new revenue. He’s been pretty clear that it wouldn’t come through raising taxes however.

MANGLER

October 30th, 2012
1:09 pm

Let’s compare:
“Failure” rate of companies Bain invested in while under Romneys watch: 22%
“Failure” rate of companies the DOE invested in while under Obamas watch 8%
But that’s not exactly apples to apples is it? See, an equity firms sole purpose is to extract profit no matter how for the benefit of its shareholders. The DOE, and vicariously the Gov’t in general’s sole purpose is to serve the greater population, not necessarily eek out the maximum profit from each division.
So then when you see that the Gov’t is better in this case at keeping it’s investments alive than a company who’s sole purpose is to make investments …
But that kind of stuff is frivolous spending and adds to the deficit? Those deficits that don’t matter when the GOP is in control (Reagan, Bush and Bush), but suddenly matter when a Dem is in charge? Those deficits?

Georgia

October 30th, 2012
1:11 pm

2012: the first election in our history to be decided by barometric pressure.

sailfish

October 30th, 2012
1:11 pm

**The latter has been a fiscal disaster of historic proportions**

I guess you would have to include bush and congress as complicit partners for a true picture of the total deficit debacle.

JDW

October 30th, 2012
1:13 pm

@Kyle…”It’s very simple. The choice is between Romney and Obama. The latter has been a fiscal disaster of historic proportions”

That is factually inaccurate…you want to talk disaster lets talk Duhbya…Obama has been average which is a damn sight better than his “Worst in Modern History” predecessor. Now you want us you believe many of the same lies repackaged…PHLEEEEZE

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 30th, 2012
1:14 pm

Logical Dude, also note that CEO’s rarely are expected to make decisions that can affect/effect violent conflicts around the globe. Rarely do CEO’s need to make decisions that call for Americans to give their lives for the sake of the country.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

October 30th, 2012
1:16 pm

The Bush years were so great and ended on such an high note that we should vote to get us 4 more years of that!

“This sucker could go down”
~ Shrub, the Decider

JDW

October 30th, 2012
1:16 pm

@LBB…”He’s been pretty clear that it wouldn’t come through raising taxes however.”

What are you planning…a return to the virtues of alchemy? Maybe you could let Bernie out of jail and he could run a worldwide pyramid scheme.

:roll:

Kyle Wingfield

October 30th, 2012
1:18 pm

JDW @ 1:13: Average? Average?? What has been “average” about Obama’s fiscal record?

Bush’s deficits were bad. I’ve never argued otherwise. But Obama’s have been catastrophic. This is true even if you include all of FY09 on Bush’s ledger, which you and I have argued about before.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
1:18 pm

MANGLER, you’re ignoring the fact that Bain was a turnaround firm–the companies it invested in we’re in trouble before Bain got involved. To have saved 80% of them is an excellent success rate.

sailfish

October 30th, 2012
1:21 pm

“Average? Average?? What has been “average” about Obama’s fiscal record?”

A better question would be; what has been “above average” about obama’s fiscal record?

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
1:21 pm

JDW, until you’re able to understand how tax revenue can go up without raising tax rates, I’m afraid any time spent on you is wasted.

carlosgvv

October 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

md – 12:28

That is a non sequitur.

A dictionary can help with one’s education.

sailfish

October 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

lil

yes, lets look the other way with all the companies bain gutted and fileted piling on debt and stripping the assets, bravisimo.

md

October 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

Some of you seem to be forgetting that Bush was calling for reform of F&F as far back as 2001…….I’m totally amazed how many want to lay it all at his feet.

I can actually see the collapse not happening had something been done at that point, but we will never know. But what we do know is that the party of no already existed, and it didn’t begin with an r……….

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

October 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

Obozo’s deficits and spending have been above average.

Some people are stupid

October 30th, 2012
1:28 pm

Kyle-

Average? Average?? What has been “average” about Obama’s fiscal record?

I couldn’t let this slide, besides the stimulus, what actually did he do to affect our fiscal situation. Most increases in the budget are built in(7.5%) And doesn’t the house control all spending anyway?

And you do realize there are breakdowns of what is the cause of the year over year deficits right?