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- iHaveNet.com: Politics
by Danielle Kurtzleben
A new report suggests no candidate has yet crafted a successful plan for reining in debt.
The report comes from U.S. Budget Watch, a project of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal
Budget, and shows that the
"I don't expect Republicans to propose raising taxes," Rivlin said Thursday. "But it seems to me that one definition of responsibility is 'Can you reform the tax system ... in whatever [way] you think is best that at least doesn't make the situation worse?' And on that score, all of these candidates fail."
The report provides three estimates for each candidate's debt impact, from least to most optimistic. The estimates are based on the candidates' stated policy proposals, as well as official and unofficial estimates of the effect of each policy. The report says Ron Paul could reduce the federal debt by the greatest amount, whereas Newt Gingrich's policies would likely add the most debt. The estimates for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum's plans fall in between Paul and Gingrich.
Federal debt stands at 70 percent of the country's GDP, and would increase to 85 percent by 2021 according to a "realistic" scenario laid out in the report. The report says that Paul's plan could reduce the debt to 67 percent through 2021.
The Texas congressman's plan to eliminate five federal departments, as well as his proposal to cancel all Federal Reserve debt, are key sources of his potential debt reduction. However, by the report's most pessimistic scenario, Paul could grow the debt to 93 percent of GDP by 2021.
Romney's policies could reduce the debt by nearly
There wasn't a single model that showed Gingrich's plan reducing the debt. U.S. Budget Watch estimates
that Gingrich would increase debt by between nearly
In estimating the candidates' budget impact, the report contradicts the popular Republican claim that
eliminating the 2010 healthcare reform law would save money. In Wednesday's debate, Santorum presented
eliminating "Obamacare" as one of the ways he would reduce the debt. U.S. Budget Watch estimates that
repealing the law would add
Alternative healthcare reform plans, like those presented by Santorum and Gingrich, could offset some of
that debt, but they could also substantially increase spending. Paul's reform proposals could add as much as
With the election stillmonths away, candidates still have time to refine many of their policy ideas. However,
Frenzel said that primary season "is not a season in which we can expect to get the kind of specificity that we are going to insist on in a general election."
GOP Candidates Could All Add to Federal Deficit | Politics
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