Since Romney left the governor’s mansion, he has taken several notable positions on major spending issues. He was opposed to the Democrats’ stimulus program, but he qualified his opposition by strangely complimenting it. In his book No Apology, he wrote, “The ‘all-Democrat’ stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery, but not as much as it could have had it included genuine tax- and job-generating incentives.”[emphasis added] Such a comment suggests that Romney, on some level, supports discredited Keynesian economics.
A few months before the financial crisis hit in 2008, Romney was already advocating big government solutions. He supported lowering the down payment requirement for “nonprime” borrowers, allowing the Federal Housing Administration to help them acquire a house. He also supported raising the maximum loan amount eligible for FHA insurance so that more people can be served in high-priced areas.
Months later, Romney publicly supported the Wall Street bailout, saying, “I believe that it was necessary to prevent a cascade of bank collapses.” When the auto bailout was being considered, Romney stated his opposition in a New York Times op-ed with the headline, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But this is misleading because he wasn’t 100% opposed to government intervention. He wrote, “It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition.”
Romney recently reiterated his continued support for ethanol subsidies. And his 2008 campaign platform advocated a “dramatic” increase in “federal spending on research, development, and demonstration projects that hold promise for diversifying our energy supply and increasing our energy efficiency.” This included research on “fuel technology and materials science and automotive technology” along with “basic research in key technologies like improved energy storage.”
Bachmann owned a stake in her father-in-law’s farm that received more than $250,000 in federal agriculture subsidies between 1995 and 2008. She says that money all stayed with her in-laws. In Congress, she tried to secure more than $3.7 million in federal earmarks for her district—the kind of pet projects she has blamed for excessive spending. And she railed against Obama’s $800 billion–plus Recovery Act as wasteful, then signed a half-dozen letters seeking stimulus funds for local projects. Her requests in 2009 echoed the arguments Republicans lampooned Obama for using. A bridge project could create nearly 3,000 jobs a year, Bachmann wrote, while a highway project would “promote economic prosperity.”