Congressional Republicans are getting their cake and eating it too.
Ryan Grim reported at The Huffington Post that, in order to calculate the projected deficits for their budget alternative, Republicans assumed that Americans would pay a higher tax rate even though they are offered the “simpler” tax rates of 10% and 25%. This allows the GOP to “offer the tax cut without factoring it into the budget’s revenue.”
In other words, they pretend they can cut taxes for free.
Economist Dean Baker, in a back of the envelope calculation, estimates these tax cuts actually cost approximately $300 billion every year, or $3 trillion over the ten year budget window.
If these real costs, in the form of gutted revenues, were tacked on to the Republicans’ distorted projections, their actual deficits would rise from around 3% of GDP from 2012-2019 to 4.5% of GDP from 2012 to 2019.
This puts their actual deficits in the same range as President Barack Obama’s budget, whose deficits the Congressional Budget Office estimates to be approximately 4%-5% of GDP over the next decade.
Here’s the difference: Obama’s budget would make vital investments in health care, education and energy that would transform our economy, get health care costs under control, and reform the tax code to lay the foundation for broadly shared long-term economic growth.
The April Fool’s budget of Congressional Republicans would double-down on the Bush economic strategy of budget-busting tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), when releasing the budget, said, “the stakes of this budget debate could not be higher; and the choice for a stronger, more secure, and more prosperous future could not be more clear.” We agree. Maybe Ryan and Republicans in Congress should rise to the occasion and stop lying to the American people.