Mitt Romney has embraced a budget plan that would entail cutting federal programs other than defense and Social Security by more than half. It does raise the question of how he plans to carry out such a sweeping goal. In an interview with the Weekly Standard, Romney says he’d eliminate a bunch of departments. But he won’t say which ones:
One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Romney recalled. “So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies. So for instance, I anticipate that housing vouchers will be turned over to the states rather than be administered at the federal level, and so at this point I think of the programs to be eliminated or to be returned to the states, and we’ll see what consolidation opportunities exist as a result of those program eliminations. So will there be some that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.
One of the things I have found in previous elections is that announcing my plans makes people want to vote against me!
This seems to be another case of Romney displaying his endearing but counterproductive habit of being a little too open about how the political game is played. Americans tend to oppose government in the abstract, but favor it in the specifics. This is even true of Republican voters: