Bill Frenzel, Committee
for a Responsible Federal Budget: GOP Contenders Policies Would Raise US
February 27, 2012
An independent analysis shows the U.S. national debt would grow under
tax policies proposed by all four Republican candidates running for
president. And of the four, only one comes close to balancing the
Ask any of the Republican presidential hopefuls and they'll tell you the
current president has done more harm than good.
ROMNEY: "Almost everything he's done has made it harder for this economy
GINGRICH: "I want to create a springboard in which people who are poor
get educated, get a job, learn how to work, get a better job and someday
own the company."
But an independent study commissioned by the non-partisan Committee for
a Responsible Federal Budget says fixing the U.S. economy will not be
Former Republican Congressman Bill Frenzel with the committee's U.S.
Budget Watch project says economic policies championed by the four
contenders, need more work.
"None of the primary 'promisers' on the Republican side get us to a
balanced budget in 10 years, even in the most optimistic estimates,"
With no change to U.S. policy, by 2021, the committee says national
debt, now nearly $15 trillion, will represent 85 percent of the nation's
gross domestic output. By comparison, Greece's debt before its second
bailout was 160 percent of its GDP.
Instead of stabilizing the debt, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas says
Republican campaign platforms would add to it, some more than others.
"Under Gingrich's proposals, the debt would increase by $7 trillion
compared to that amount and the debt levels would reach 114 percent of
GDP," said MacGuineas.
study, based on specific candidate proposals, shows Congressman Ron
Paul's policies would reduce debt by $2.2 trillion. But the study says
Paul's plan offsets proposed tax cuts by eliminating prominent
government agencies, including the Federal Reserve.
Mitt Romney's blueprint would add $250 billion to the debt, while Rick
Santorum's tax cuts would add $4.5 trillion.
Analysts say the accounting problem stems from Republican aversion to
new taxes. Former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin says
the analysis shows a more balanced approach is needed.
"I think it is totally unrealistic that we can stabilize the debt over
the long term without both increases in revenues and reductions in
entitlements," said Rivlin.
U.S. Budget Watch expects Republican candidates will dispute the group's
findings. But the group welcomes the dialogue if it brings more
transparency and compromise. The group says it plans to release a
separate analysis of President Obama's economic agenda.