Seeking applause from a right-wing audience in Michigan, Mitt Romney vowed on Saturday: “I will cut spending, I will cap spending and I will finally balance the budget,” saying that he will end federal funding for all the usual Republican budgetary scapegoats—the Public Broadcasting System, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has said much the same thing many times in recent months, hoping to woo the tea party extremists who keep rejecting his candidacy.
But Romney must think these “conservatives” very stupid if he’s promising to balance the federal budget by eliminating nominal amounts spent on the nation’s cultural programs. And he must think they’re even dumber if they believe he can do that while delivering the massive tax cuts and defense increases he has also promised. As a former corporate investor and state governor, he certainly knows that his numbers simply don’t work.