Ezra Klein's WonkBook
takes an in-depth look at what the GOP candidates would do with the deficit. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, all but Ron Paul are running anything close to what one would consider fiscally conservative. From the WonkBook: -------------------------------------------------------------Rick Santorum:
"...he would reduce spending by over $2 trillion between 2013 and 2021. Unfortunately, his tax cuts would increase debt by more than $6 trillion over the same period. Net impact: $4.5 trillion in new debt,
for a debt-to-GDP ratio of 105 percent."Newt Gingrich:
" ...estimates his spending cuts would shave $2.7 trillion off of the debt. But Gingrich would also spend $1.6 trillion dollars financing new private accounts for Social Security. And his tax cuts would cost more than $7 trillion. Net impact: $7 trillion in new debt
, for a debt-to-GDP ratio of, wait for it, 114 percent."Mitt Romney:
" ...more difficult to score. He saves $1.2 trillion by block granting Medicaid and cutting the federal workforce. But his new tax plan doesn't have enough detail to say how much it costs. ... estimates that if the plan isn't paid for at all, it will add $2.6 trillion to the deficit
, leaving Romney's debt-to-GDP at 96 percent."Ron Paul:
"His cuts to federal spending are incredibly severe, saving $7.5 trillion. ... his tax cuts cost $5.2 trillion. ... his plan to end the Federal Reserve would rack up $400 billion in transition cost
... he cuts the deficit by $2.2 trillion, and brings debt-to-GDP down to 76 percent."-------------------------------------------------------------
These estimates are made on top of the presumption that the Bush tax cuts will become permanent. Klein points out that those cuts cost the nation more than 4.5 TRILLION
dollars. While one could consider Ron Paul the only one that is truly fiscally conservative -- I would put forth that he is fiscally irresponsible. His proposals would cause markets to become terribly unstable -- ultimately hurting the economy.
Mr. Klein quotes Alice Rivlin (appointed by President Obama to his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform):
We don't have to balance the budget. We just have to get to where debt is not growing faster than the economy
Right now, with our economy growing but still fragile, this is a very important point. It's really unfortunate that this wasn't questioned last night during the Arizona debate
. Instead it was a lot of pandering to appease social conservatives,and even then -- it offered little on substance. Last night was possibly the last Republican debate we will have to endure this 2012 primary season, and voters were left with little on how each of these candidates would apply their stances. Many of them seem to not have a clear cut and defined opinion.
Each of these candidates are putting forward irresponsible economic and social policies as their vision of our nation. People who support the GOP deserve to know the truth about their policies. It's easy for people to listen to the red meat that was thrown around last night. According to Gingrich, "As long as you're America's enemy - you're safe." He also accused the President of infanticide.
But I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. OK? So let's be clear here.
There was no follow up question to clarify this murderous accusation.
Speaking on the issue of contraception, did I mention the crowed booed contraception? Ron Paul said that the use of contraception caused women to become more
But sort of along the line of the pills creating immorality, I don't see it that way. I think the immorality creates the problem of wanting to use the pills. So you don't blame the pills.
I think it's sort of like the argument -- conservatives use the argument all the time about guns. Guns don't kill, criminals kill.
Rick Santorum seemed to think contraception was the cause of children being born out of wedlock. John King asked the former Senator "When you were campaigning in Iowa, you told an evangelical blog, if elected, you will talk about what - quote, "no president has talked about before -- the dangers of contraception." Why?" This was the reply:
What we're seeing is a problem in our culture with respect to children being raised by children, children being raised out of wedlock, and the impact on society economically, the impact on society with respect to drug use and all -- a host of other things when children have children. ...
Over 40 percent of children born in America are born out of wedlock. How can a country survive if children are being raised in homes where it's so much harder to succeed economically?
Romney, however, took it to a new and even more offensive level:
... this isn't an argument about contraceptives, this is a discussion about, are we going to have a nation which preserves the foundation of the nation, which is the family, or are we not? And Rick is absolutely right.
When you have 40 percent of kids being born out of wedlock, and among certain ethnic groups the vast majority being born out of wedlock, you ask yourself, how are we going to have a society in the future? Because these kids are raised in poverty in many cases, they're in abusive settings. The likelihood of them being able to finish high school or college drops dramatically in single-family homes. And we haven't been willing to talk about this.
I was left wondering -- how exactly does contraception CAUSE single parent households?
Once again they are not being honest about where they stand. They simply pander to some insane ideology that isn't based in truth -- mathematically or logically. There was not one question last night about job creation, something that is of the utmost concern foremost Americans. Truth be told, the word "jobs" was mentioned a total of 4 -- FOUR
-- times last night. All mentions were from Newt Gingrich.
Hamilton would have said you have to have jobs and economic growth to get back to a balanced budget. You're never going to balance the budget on the back of a highly unemployed country. And so I would be committed, first of all, to a program of jobs and economic growth.
Second, the energy issue is enormous. The leading developer of North Dakota oil estimated recently that, if we would open up federal land and open up offshore, you would have $16 trillion to $18 trillion -- not billion -- trillion dollars in royalties to the federal government in the next generation, an enormous flow which would drive down prices to $2.50 a gallon, would help us balance the budget and would create millions of jobs.
No explanation of how to get there.
Just to contrast, on Tuesday -- as you know by now, I had the opportunity to stand
with the President of the United States thanking Americans for helping him to get the Payroll Tax cut extension passed. The statement took about 10 minutes. I checked the transcript. In those 10 minutes he mentioned the word JOB 10 times.
Compare that with a 2 hour GOP debate that mentioned the word four times. It's time for people to know exactly who is serious about making sure our economy grows and heals. It's time for people to know that the GOP is not giving realistic solutions to very real problems that we have in the United States.
I stand with our President. I stand with him when he says:
Instead of spending the coming months in a lot of phony political debates, focusing on the next election, I hope that we spend some time focusing on middle-class Americans and those who are struggling to get into the middle class. We’ve got a lot more work to do. Let’s do it.
Let's get real about the Republican candidates. They may call themselves conservative, but they are liberally misleading everyone.