Considering how often all of the stimulus programs are wrong attributed to President Obama, the Washington Post reports today that the tax plans of three of the remaining GOP presidential hopefuls simply pile on the deficit. So the closer look by US Budget Watch demonstrates that Republicans are hardly the fiscal conservatives they claim to be.
From the paper:
The national debt is likely to balloon under tax policies championed by three of the four major Republican candidates for president, according to an independent analysis of tax and spending proposals so far offered by the candidates.
According to the report — set for release Thursday by U.S. Budget Watch, a project of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget — former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former House speaker Newt Gingrich would do the most damage to the nation’s finances, offering tax and spending policies likely to require trillions of dollars in fresh borrowing.
Both men have proposed to sharply cut taxes but have not identified spending cuts sufficient to make up for the lost cash, the report said. By 2021, the debt would rise by about $4.5 trillion under Santorum’s policies and by about $7 trillion under those advocated by Gingrich, pushing the portion of the debt held by outside investors to well over 100 percent of the nation’s economy.
The red ink would gush less heavily under former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the report said — at least under earlier Romney proposals that paired $1.35 trillion in tax cuts with $1.2 trillion in spending reductions and would leave the debt rising on a trajectory that closely tracks current policies.
But that probably changed Wednesday, when Romney tacked to the right and proposed to cut federal income tax rates by an additional 20 percent for all earners — an idea that could easily slash federal revenues by another $3.5 trillion over the next decade, said Edward Kleinbard, a University of Southern California law professor and former chief tax analyst for Congress.
The report offers no support to any candidate or either party and provides three scenarios for each candidate’s proposal that includes a “low-debt scenario” based on “generous” assumptions regarding proposed changes in policy as well as a “high-debt scenario” that more specifically targets direct policy proposals. The Post based its story on the report’s “intermediate-debt scenario,” which notes non-specified changes to certain parts of the budget even if the candidate has not identified specific policy changes.
Rep. Ron Paul offers the only GOP plan that won’t explode the deficit but offers drastic spending cuts that have no prayer of getting out of Congress and, if enacted, would dramatically harm the lower to middle class.