Watch out America: Mitt Romney has the potential to be a massive deficit spender.
Jared Bernstein, the former chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, told Ezra Klein on Thursday's The Rachel Maddow Show that the Romney's claims he will cut the deficit as president are based on fuzzy math.
Klein and Bernstein explained that Romney wants to increase defense spending and slash taxes, which would seemingly increase the deficit, not reduce it.
To close the gap, President Romney would have to implement some truly draconian spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. Doing that, however, is extremely difficult.
"The only way you do that is if you cut government to a point that is theoretically impossible," Bernstein said. "The arithmetic stands on its head. What sounds fiscally responsible is deeply fiscally irresponsible."
Klein agreed, saying it was impossible to simultaneously cut trillions of dollars in taxes, add about a trillion dollars in new defense spending, and shrink the budget gap.
Romney has made "some gestures toward spending cuts, but he doesn't have anything that is of anywhere near the size as what he's promised to spend or stop taxing," Klein said. "So it doesn't balance the budget. If you believe in austerity, it's not austerity."