David Frum

10.11.12

Romney's Math

Mitt Romney has promised to cut taxes, raise defense spending, and balance the budget. Those commitments raise the question: where's the money to come from - and a lot of derisive claims that his promises are arithmetically impossible.

But here's the answer, and it should be front and center in all discussions of national economic priorities. The United States spends 17% of GDP on healthcare for worse results than most other advanced countries get for 11%. Even if we allow 2 extra points to buy a superior patient experience - hey, it's a rich country - that still leaves 4 points of economic waste on the table. Four points is like getting the entire defense budget for free.

Squeezing out those 4 points should be national budgeting priority number one. They're the fund that can pay for everything else this country wants to do.