Just after the 28:15 minute mark (links follow below exchanges) of the debate… assistance begins…
MR. ROMNEY: But you’ve been — but you’ve been president four years. You’ve been president four years. You said you’d cut the deficit in half. It’s now four years later. We still have trillion- dollar deficits.
The CBO says we’ll have a trillion-dollar deficit each of the next four years. If you’re re-elected, we’ll get to a trillion-dollar debt. You have said before you’d cut the deficit in half. And this four — I love this idea of 4 trillion (dollars) in cuts. You’ve found $4 trillion of ways to reduce or to get closer to a balanced budget, except we still show trillion dollar deficits every year. That doesn’t get the job done.
Let me come back and say, why is that I don’t want to raise taxes? Why don’t I want to raise taxes on people? And actually, you said it back in 2010. You said, look, I’m going to extend the tax policies that we have. Now, I’m not going to raise taxes on anyone because when the economy’s growing slow like this, when we’re in recession you shouldn’t raise taxes on anyone.
Well, the economy is still growing slow. As a matter of fact, it’s growing much more slowly now than when you made that statement. And so if you believe the same thing, you just don’t want to raise taxes on people. And the reality is it’s not just wealthy people — you mentioned Donald Trump — it’s not just Donald Trump you’re taxing; it’s all those businesses that employ one-quarter of the workers in America. These small businesses that are taxed as individuals. You raise taxes and you kill jobs. That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to kill jobs in this environment.
Let me make one more point. And that’s — and that —
MR. LEHRER: Let’s let him answer the taxes thing for a moment, OK?
MR. ROMNEY: OK.
MR. LEHRER: Mr. President.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we’ve had this discussion before.
MR. LEHRER: No, about the idea that in order to reduce the deficit there has to be revenue in addition to cuts.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: There has to be revenue in addition to cuts. Now, Governor Romney has ruled out revenue. He’s — he’s ruled out revenue.
MR. LEHRER: That’s true, right?
MR. ROMNEY: Absolutely.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: OK, so —
MR. LEHRER: Completely?
Followed immediately by
MR. ROMNEY: I — look, the revenue I get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes. That’s how we get growth and how we balance the budget. But the idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work — you’ll never get there. You never balance the budget by raising taxes.
Spain — Spain spends 42 percent of their total economy on government. We’re now spending 42 percent of our economy on government.
I don’t want to go down the path to Spain. I want to go down the path of growth that puts Americans to work, with more money coming in because they’re working.
MR. LEHRER: Yeah.
But Mr. President, you’re saying in order to get it — the job done, it’s got to be balanced. You’ve got to have —
PRESIDENT OBAMA: If we’re serious, we’ve got to take a balanced, responsible approach. And by the way, this is not just when it comes to individual taxes…
It certainly appears that Mr. Lehrer was prompting the USURPER’S debate points, but how did he know, at least twice, what was going to be rattling around Obama’s brain… hmm?