RNC Debt Clock vs GOP Delegates

On the first day of the convention, the RNC began running a national debt clock, which Chairman Reince Priebus says will serve as a reminder of the "unprecendented fiscal recklessness of the Obama administration."

But can Republicans be trusted to get serious about the debt? After all, George W. Bush ran up more than $4 trillion in debt during his tenure, and the much-vaunted Paul Ryan plan won't even balance the budget for decades, much less begin paying down the debt.

Reason TV was on the scene to ask Romney-supporting delegates whether they thought the national debt was an important issue and whether or not Romney could get the job done.

Approximately 3:40 minutes.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller and Tracy Oppenheimer.

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  • InlineSkate||

    I love how they're all about cutting the budget until you mention the big 3 spenders. They're just as bad as the liberals.

  • avsteele||

    That was just depressing

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Jeez, that was painful. I couldn't finish it.

    ... Hobbit

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It will be fun to watch President Romney hitting the snooze button when the alarm on that thing goes off.

  • A Serious Man||

    Guy with who looks like Tom Selleck: "If we don't have a strong military, uh, we won't be able to ensure that there's peace in the world."

    Good Lord.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I'm a big fan of walking softly and carrying a really big stick, but even then our military is fucking ridiculous. We don't need to police the rest of the damn world.

    We should drop all of our foreign bases and cut our navy down by about half. We really don't need 11 aircraft carriers; six would probably be better (and we'd STILL have 2-6x more than anyone else), and then we can get rid of a bunch of the escort ships as well.

    That would save us hundreds of billions and we wouldn't even have to cut back on research.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Aircraft carriers...my favorite topic showing bloat in the military.
    All the neo-cons are now screaming about how China is ramping up their military. They have 1 (that's right, 1) aircraft carrier. And that one is an old one they bought from Russia because Russia thought it was outdated. And now China is in the process of building their first.
    And the US? We are building 3 more new ones.
    What a joke. I guess to the neo-cons and Republicans we should build 8 more just so we can keep that 11 to 1 ratio.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I was on one for three years (supply clerk!) and had a blast. And they are good for nothing but offense in support of an empire. You want defense? Land planes, baby, land planes with standoff missiles. No one's going to send an invasion fleet to the US. Carriers have no use but building and maintaining an empire.

    I'll still go visit mine in its new guise as a museum ship, but I'd be happy to see every last one turned into museum ships.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Yeah, if you were to go totally defensive you wouldn't need them. But wars aren't won defensively. You need to be able to attack their supply lines in order to remove their ability to continue to attack you, and those are generally secure behind their own lines. That's where having some offensive capability comes in. Otherwise, it'd be like a football game where one team is always on defense. The result of that is predetermined.

  • Forethoughts||

    That was my favorite comment on the clip. Where does he exactly think that there is peace in the world now?

  • Brutus||

    Someone, please, I beg you: Shoot me.

  • wareagle||

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of it, Ryan has put a plan on the table. The Dem response thus far has been an ad showing granny going off the cliff. No damn wonder the country is in a shambles. If you don't like Ryan's plan, come up with an alternative or pick the parts that are okay and work with him on a solution. But no, that would be too much like actual governing.

  • JW||

    Eliminate everything except Treasury, Defense, Justice and the 3 branches. And cut the living shit out of those remaining departments.

  • Brutus||

    State, too.

  • InlineSkate||

    Picking and choosing discriminately what to cut is the issue.

    Republicans: Let's cut everything as long as it isn't defense, medicare, or social security.

    Democrats: Let's cut everything as long as it isn't entitlements, energy subsidies, or farm bills.

    This mentality gets us nowhere and only results in gridlock. Meaning nothing gets cut.

  • ZacJ||

    While Ryan has added to the debt as much as anyone, the response to his budget bill is highly indicative. His bill should be seen as wholy inadequate but instead the only question discussed is whether it is simply draconian or if it represents the supposed end of America.

    Ron Paul said during the convention that Ryan's budget isn't good enough but the democrats are the ones who make a sufficient budget impossible. Because Ryan's budget is demagogued as radical there is no possible way for anyone to bring forth adequate cuts. Ryan does seem like the kind of guy who sincerely believes in cutting spending (while still caving when actual bills are voted on) but it is totally unrealistic to expect him to write a budget that would ever fix the problem with the democrat reaction.

    I know republicans are just as guilty of spending but right now it seems that the democrats have made it totally impossible to make real cuts.

  • Jackand Ace||

    When looking at any budget, whether government or corporate, spending is not the only line item(s).
    You have to look at the top line (revenue)and all the other lines (spending) in order to impact the bottom line (profitability).
    So "cuts" are only half the problem. You want to balance a budget quickly? You better look at the top line too. And to do it quickly, that means tax increases when it is the government, because that is their source of revenue. You want to leave that line item alone? Then you depend only on growth (along with the cuts) to achieve a balanced budget, and that will take some time. Particularly when you actually increase one of the biggest spending line items, in this case defense.
    Ryan just wants to cut, he has no interest in a QUICKLY achieved balanced budget. Nor does anyone else. If they did, they would advocate some tax increase.
    Uh oh- I said it! And on a libertarian site.

  • Butler||

    I suspect that most people, even libertaerians would agree to a tax increase to reduce the debt. The problem is that any tax increase would not be used to reduce the debt, it would be used to increase the size of gov't (if not in the short term, then definitely in the long term).

    So, let me be the first to say that I will gladly agree to have my taxes raised to spare my children the responsibility of paying for the debts run up by my generation and my parents' generation in exchange for (1) a balanced budget amendment that guarantees a balanced budget within three years and caps the size of the federal government (2) major reform of all entitlements and defense spending; and (3) a reform of the IRS code to either eliminate the income tax or at least remove all loopholes and special interest deductions (ala Simpson Bowles recommendations).

    Who's with me?

  • Jackand Ace||

    I'm with you with one caveat. Any balanced budget amendment MUST include defense spending...something Republicans will never agree to. They want that to be the exception to the amendment, and that just means all the money that had been spent on entitlements will just get shifted over to defense. Or much of it.

  • JW||

    DOOOOOOOoooooommmmm

    And fuck you too, spam filter.

  • MWG||

    Aaaaannnnddddd.... that's why I'm no longer a republican.

  • ||

    Really?

    I guess I was a republican when I voted for Dole way back in the 90s.

    I just went to libertarianism when I actually started thinking about.

    of course i do have to thank conservatives and the libertarianish crap they talk about in a blue moon. It is not as if libertarianism is on TV very much.

    Oh wait I did go to to a republican caucus in 2000 and voted for McCain (I know kill me now) still i ended up not even voting in the general that year...and was not really thinking.

    I think i was always a classical liberal...but had no home.

  • MWG||

    I come from a pretty conservative family. I think I ultimately became a libertarian about 6 or 7 years ago when I started mixing economics and politics. Every time I see Red Team stuff like this I'm amazed that there was a time when I myself would have sounded just like anyone of those people.

    Now I have the benefit of looking smugly down my nose at both teams... while wearing my monocle and top hat of course.

  • Tman||

    I came from a liberal family and had a similar transition when you mix politics and economics.

    Because you use like, arithmetic, n' stuff.

    Both teams are equally flawed in terms of their understanding of arithmetic.

    The big difference in teams for me is who is better at getting the fuck out of the way, and the jury is still out. But President Not My Fault sure is reminding me of how bad Democrats are at math.

  • califernian||

    There is no difference. Not a dime's worth.

    IF you vote for TEAM BE RULED, then THAT is throwing your vote away.

  • Thomas O.||

    The worst thing is, either side makes assumptions on the populace that never seem to manifest themselves.

    Democrats assume that the ultra-rich are going to faithfully pay all those new higher taxes suddenly dumped upon them and not continue to offshore their assets in places like the Caymans. Not to mention they assume we're all gonna blindly accept every restriction they place on our diets and lifestyles, supposedly for our own good.

    Republicans assume that the ultra-rich are going to faithfully create new American jobs with the tax savings promised to them and not continue to make those new jobs in other cheaper-labor countries. They also assume that a major born-again enlightenment of Americans is right around the corner and that they'll suddenly give up their morally corrupt movies, TV shows, websites and video games, break up with their same-sex partners, cover up in 1910s-era fashions and fill up the churches just in time for the glorious Rapture.

    It's times like this that I SO wish the Libertarian Party could get a billion-dollar infusion and go all out on a media blitz.

  • ||

    I don't think money's the issue. People just don't want to hear it. I have a lot of conservative friends, and it's depressing how completely unreceptive they are to the libertarian message.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    So, when do the phone numbers come up on which Republican we want to vote for?

  • Jake W||

    "unprecendented fiscal recklessness of the Obama administration."

    Yes, it is clearly only the fact that such 'fiscal recklessness' hasn't been pulled off with out a revolt before that makes it matter that it occurred at all. One more time around and it will surely be acceptable. I can hear it now in 4-8yrs: "Don't you miss when the economy was good, under Obama, Romney sucks!"

  • ||

    "What programs would you cut?"

    "TYPICAL LIBERAL QUESTION!!!!!"

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • MWG||

    *looks down and shakes head*

  • jason||

    Its a serious problem for the US economy right now, Both the parties are going on this matter for elections.

  • Spoonman.||

    Shit. The Republicans deserve to lose again. (So do the Donks, but you know.) They're not even serious.

  • Ryan60657||

    Embarrassing. Our future is doomed.

  • ZacJ||

    That guy thought he was so clever "Typical liberal question. You cut them all." How that is a liberal question I'm not sure. But the best part is after saying we should cut everything in the budget he then goes on to defend spending in each area addressed and doesn't even allow for the idea of some degree of cutting much less signficant cutting.

  • kodyonthekeys||

    This was painfully dissonant. Even big spender Reagan just rolled over in his grave. If I had a grave, I'd roll too. Excellent reporting of the convention.

  • Forethoughts||

    Who is this guy? "If we do not continue to spend these massive amounts on Military spending we will not be able to maintain peace in the world." What exactly gives him the idea that there is peace in the world now? I do not mind at all disagreeing with someone on policy issues and I am all for healthy discussion about said issues, but not when they are going to be based in a Disney fantasy production.

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