Some independent analysis has come out on the debt and deficit numbers attached to the Republican Presidential candidates economic proposals. From my vantage point the results are not at all surprising, as the debt and deficit projections exceed those of the President’s latest budget submission. What is surprising is that the Republicans continue to demand an end to debt and deficits, scream for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and yet they continually produce plans that spike the deficit and debt, and are allowed to get away with it by the media. A very simple question? If Republicans believe in debt and deficit reduction why have none, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, produced a budget blueprint that shows balance? If not immediately then within four years? If not within four years then please tell us when we could expect the candidates to file with Congress a budget that is balanced? Seems like a simple question, but no media source will ask it? Why is that?
Usually when this type of thing gets talked about Republican’s get all upset and start ranting about the wild spending under President Obama and just won’t talk about the deficits that Republicans would create. They use the old misdirection, conveniently forgetting to mention that Democrats and the President are not in favor of immediate austerity, fearing that such a policy will lead the economy to contract, creating the type of death spiral we now see in Greece.
Krugman has used the analysis of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget to create the graph below. As you can see the debt as a percentage of GDP (in 2021) for the Republican candidates exceeds the number for President Obama (with the exception of Ron Paul). Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am saying President Obama is a big deficit warrior, but rather that the Republican’s are just talking nonsense when they discuss the debt. They are in fact not really concerned at all about debt and deficits. Read the Wall Street Journal for the real Republican position on deficits. As long as there are tax cuts involved deficits are fine, as we will “grow” our way out of them. The numbers are clear, and the Republicans, in keeping with history, have proven themselves cynical charlatans on debt and deficit reduction. And if we are going to dispute these numbers please spare me the “they come from a Krugman piece so they are no good” line.
Read the Krugman Times article here.
Read the Ezra Klein post on “dynamic fiscal scoring” here.