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Do you believe: The problem with Romney's promises on the debt

BIG BAD JOHN R. 2012/05/17 15:43:18
Yes, Mitt Romney is right on his  views to stop debt in America
NO, Mitt Romney is NOT right on his  views to stop debt in America
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Mitt Romney is claiming that, if he is elected, he will start to put out the "prairie fire of debt" sweeping the nation.

But his tax plan, in its current form, would instead feed the flames.

Romney is proposing to cut the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent and cut other tax rates by 20 percent, among other tax cuts. That would reduce revenue to the federal government and increase the debt and deficit, according to nonpartisan analysts.

Romney says he will offset this lost revenue in part by eliminating deductions and loopholes in the current tax code. Yet he is decidedly mum on exactly which deductions and loopholes he will eliminate. An email to the Romney campaign asking if and when the candidate would fill in the details of his plan was not returned.

Romney has good reason to be vague: Explaining exactly what tax breaks he would eliminate means potentially angering the voters who would be affected. But his decision not to offers details leaves Americans with no choice but to consider the plan as it now stands. According to a March Tax Policy Center analysis, Romney's plan would add $900 billion to the deficit in 2015, when his proposed changes would go into full effect.

Romney claims that, under his leadership, "[w]e will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can't even imagine, from foreign countries we'll never even visit." The Congressional Budget Office is projecting a $1.17 trillion budget deficit for the budget year that ends in September. If the deficit otherwise stays steady, Romney's tax plan in its current form, with its projected $900 billion in lost revenue, would push that to more than $2 trillion. His plan to increase defense spending would push it even higher -- one analysis found Romney's proposals would mean $2.1 trillion in additional military spending over a decade.

It appears, then, that if Romney wants to fulfill his promise to "stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money" while dramatically cutting taxes, he'll have to eliminate more than $2 trillion per year from the federal budget. (Even if the as-yet-unspecified offsets save $500 billion, he'd still have to eliminate more than $1.5 trillion.) The federal government spent $3.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Twenty percent of the budget, or $718 billion, went to defense spending, a figure that Romney says he wants increased. Romney's proposal, with its reduction in tax receipts, would thus leave less than $1 trillion (or $1.5 trillion with the offsets) for everything else. To get there would mean drastic cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education and infrastructure programs, benefits for veterans, medical research, the FBI and border control, safety net programs that keep millions out of poverty and other federal spending. Romney does say his tax plan will gave the economy a boost, which would mean there is more overall economic output subject to taxation. But even if the boost goes beyond economists most optimistic projections, severe cuts would still be needed.

Romney has proposed immediately cutting non-security discretionary spending by five percent upon taking office, which falls far short of the cuts needed to balance the budget. He has offered broad plans to reform entitlement programs and "streamline" government, but details are vague, and the proposals do not seem to approach the massive spending cuts that would be necessary to eliminate the deficit.

Romney has also endorsed the House GOP budget plan, also known as the Paul Ryan plan. That plan, which proponents say would cut spending by $5.3 trillion over a decade in part by replacing Medicare with a subsidy for seniors to buy health insurance, would also fall short.

Romney's campaign would surely quibble with some of the specifics of this analysis, and when you're considering complex budgetary figures and projections, there is room for discussion. But the overall picture is difficult to dispute: If Romney is going to fully put out the "prairie fire" of debt in conjunction with his current proposal to cut taxes, he'll have to preside over the sorts of cuts to federal spending that would dramatically reshape American life. And if he pushes through those tax cuts without huge offsetting cuts to federal spending, then the "prairie fire" is going to keep on burning.

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  • sjalan 2012/05/19 04:06:21
    NO, Mitt Romney is NOT right on his views to stop debt in America
    sjalan
    WE AS A NATION will NEVER be able to stop the debt spending in congress until we stop our own debt spending
  • Cliff 2012/05/17 18:32:52
    Yes, Mitt Romney is right on his views to stop debt in America
    Cliff
    True Americans will not rest until the prairie fire is extinguished. Obama, the firebug in chief, will find himself surrounded by patriots badly in need of taking a pee.
  • Schläue~© 2012/05/17 16:36:29
    Yes, Mitt Romney is right on his views to stop debt in America
    Schläue~©
    MYTH: Lower tax rates don’t cause economic growth.

    FACT: Even JFK understood that lower tax rates produce economic growth and even higher tax revenue. According to President Kennedy:

    "Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget — just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions, and any new recession would break all deficit records.

    In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is no...

    MYTH: Lower tax rates don’t cause economic growth.

    FACT: Even JFK understood that lower tax rates produce economic growth and even higher tax revenue. According to President Kennedy:

    "Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget — just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions, and any new recession would break all deficit records.

    In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."

    http://www.americanrhetoric.c...
    (more)
  • Rebel Yell 2012/05/17 16:30:23
    None of the above
    Rebel Yell
    If anyone believes Mitt is going to eliminate loopholes in the tax code, then I have a diamond mine in the middle of the Mississippi... and will sell to you and only you, really cheap.

    Those loopholes have made Willard mega wealthy. Romney apparently has a death wish if he supports Ryan's plan to put the axe to Medicare.
  • Live Free Or Die 2012/05/17 16:12:01
    NO, Mitt Romney is NOT right on his views to stop debt in America
    Live Free Or Die
    The debt will increase even more under Romney's economic plan surely. Only a dope would vote for that.
  • Metaldane 2012/05/17 15:59:00
    NO, Mitt Romney is NOT right on his views to stop debt in America
    Metaldane
    +1
    If Romney wins I don't wanna think at how bad it'll get.
  • NPC 2012/05/17 15:47:03
    Yes, Mitt Romney is right on his views to stop debt in America
    NPC
    I know that Barack Hussein OBlamer is a serial liar, $hitcago politician and incompetent. It is time for a change in the WH. Romney is sharp and has run a real large corporate business that was successful and obtained results with profits for its shareholders. Barack has incurred an additional $5.3 Trillion in debt and is an absolute ONE BIG ASS MISTAKE. You make the choice if you don't want another Greece here.
  • BIG BAD JOHN R. 2012/05/17 15:46:16
    NO, Mitt Romney is NOT right on his views to stop debt in America
    BIG BAD JOHN R.
    +1
    NO! Mitt Romney's tax plan, in its current form, would instead feed the flames. AMerica economy disastered

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