Mitt Romney is going to be on Meet the Press on Sunday. As I mentioned the other day, what I hope is that he’ll be asked serious policy questions, and not about politics or the campaign. Here are five questions that would be a good start:
1. You’ve pledged tax reform to drop tax rates, protect current tax treatment of investment and certain other income, keep middle class taxes unchanged, and not increase the deficit. Independent analysts say that it just can’t be done, and you have refused to release a detailed plan to show how your math works, so therefore: if the outside experts turn out to be right, which part of this would you give up first? Would you go for somewhat higher rates? Allow middle class taxes to go up? Or allow the deficit to rise? What are your priorities on this?
2. You’ve made it clear you oppose same-sex marriage. Do you believe that the repeal of don’t ask don't tell has been a success or a failure, and would you re-instate it? Do you support or oppose a law that would make it illegal for private employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation?
3. You would repeal Obamacare, which would re-open the donut hole in Medicare drug coverage and therefore raise drug costs for some seniors, and take away free preventative care for those in traditional Medicare. Do you intend to replace those provisions with anything, so seniors are not hit by higher costs? And if so, how would you pay for them?
4. Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, for those with private insurance, it ends lifetime caps on benefits, rescissions, and keeps young people on their parents’ plans. After you repeal all of that, would you do anything about those problems, or do you think the government should just allow the market to operate without regulation in those areas?
5. If necessary, should the United States commit ground forces to prevent Iran from going nuclear?
I’d probably also like to see questions about Afghanistan, torture, the military budget, and other national security and foreign policy questions
While those are tough questions -- they’re generally not about what Romney wants to talk about — they’re not gotchas, either. David Gregory should keep the focus on policy, not on the horse race. We know surprisingly little about Romney’s policy plans, and that’s what reporters should be pressing him on when they get the opportunity.