Republicans Fighting Deficits?

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.

Krugman Graph

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7 Responses to Republicans Fighting Deficits?

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    I am going to dis the “Krugman” reference because he’s a NYT hit man. He will not publish data favorable to the Republicans. Who are these “independent analysis people” you refer too. I don’t know who they are.

    We don’t know what these “republican plans” will result in as they would be modified if the Republican nominee win the Presidential election.

    Obama has not shown any fiscal leadership at all. There are winners (Obama’s friends) and losers (those whom Obama hates). We are 15 or 16 trillion dollars in deficit, most of which are Obama’s. I believe Romney will do a superior fiscal job than Obama (that’s hard).

    I remember Obama’s promise that the unemployment would not go above 8%. It climbed to within a hair’s breath of 10% the his chief economist was sent packing to UCLA. So he’s proved that even with an expert, he way off.

    You seem to be joyous over this unknowable deficit number you think the Republicans will create.

    So I ask you a question I posed before; Are you looking forward to four more years of Obama?

    Good to be in the fray.



  2. Bill Manzi says:


    The issue is the debt and deficit. On that score the President has said, repeatedly, that he is not for immediate austerity, and he is not for deficit reduction. I think we all agree on that factually. The Republicans have all said they favor immediate deficit reduction. They have called for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. We all, I think, agree that they have done so. Now on to the numbers. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a non-partisan group advocating for debt and deficit reduction, and realism in evaluation of budget proposals. From their web site:

    “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a bipartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public about issues that have significant fiscal policy impact. The Committee is made up of some of the nation’s leading budget experts including many of the past Chairmen and Directors of the Budget Committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, and the Federal Reserve Board.”

    So they have bona fides, and they have been more than willing to criticize the President’s positions on deficits. In fact what they point out here is not at all a defense of the President’s budgetary numbers, but rather showing that the Republican Presidential candidates choose to ignore simple math when compiling budgetary plans. The numbers are real, and they are reflective of the real Republican goal, which is to cut taxes and ignore the consequences to deficits and debt. As far as “changing” what they are prescribing “after they are elected” I suppose that means you agree that they are showing massive deficits, but they will change that once they are in office. Not really a credible argument, especially in light of the deficit records of the past Republican Presidents. Keep in mind that the criticism accrues to them because THEY have said they will reduce debt immediately. The President has stated that it is a “longer term” goal. They are caught, and people of both parties ought to agree that putting up fake numbers and then getting people to defend them is not what we need in America today.



  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor

    Here are some more number that are not fake. Nancy Pelosi is correct one has to vote for this Healthcare monster.

    From Heritage foundation:

    It increases taxes on families earning over $250,000.
    It adds a new tax on investment income.
    It imposes new limitations on those with Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.
    It adds a new tax on those who purchase medical devices.
    It penalizes marriage by allowing for more taxpayer-funded subsidies for single individuals.
    It violates religious liberty.
    It puts Medicare decisions in the hands of an unelected board.
    It imposes a premium tax on health insurers.
    It creates a new, unsustainable entitlement program.
    It puts over half of all Americans on a government program.



  4. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    How can you stand for Obama’s deficit control when he nor the congress can’t write a budget. !000+ days and counting.

    This is a shame.



  5. Bill Manzi says:


    I concede to you on the Senate not filing a budget. And I also do not think that President Obama or the Democrats have very good bona fides on deficit reduction. But they are not running on that issue. In fact they are explicit in saying that they oppose short term austerity. Republicans criticize and demand deficit reduction, and then float budget proposals that increase the debt, and deficits. Gotta call them on that hypocrisy. Where Republicans have actually called for spending steps that reduce the deficit I have said so explicitly. (Rand Paul and Tom Coburn have been cited repeatedly here)So I am being fair and balanced.



  6. Jules Gordon says:

    Ahh, Your Honor,

    Let me quote that wise old Democrat, Harry Reid, whenever Republican proposals come to the Senate, “DOA”. So what’s the use.

    Bye the way,wWhat is the senate doing these days?

    There is little or no bipartisanship anymore. The Democrats by virtue of their pandering to any person or activist organization for votes has created a divided country. That part of our culture that is beholding, and it’s substantial, to the Democrats now have a financial dog in the hunt.

    No compromise unless it’s do it my way. No budging and no compromising. We are at loggerheads.

    Now where do we go from here, your Honor?



  7. Bill Manzi says:


    The Legislative machinery is indeed clogged. From where I am sitting it was Repubs who did not want a deal on deficits, as they blanched at putting revenues on the table. That my friend does not constitute compromise. I do agree that the Democrats in the Senate should file a busget and say what they stand for. They have been subject to plenty of criticism for their failure to do so. And they do deserve it.



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