Several independent analyses have shows that the economic plans put forth by the GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum would cause the deficit to explode. Just last month, Romney — who won the Arizona and Michigan primaries this week — unveiled a plan that would increase deficits by $10.7 trillion.
But Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who chairs the House Budget Committee, told Bloomberg TV today that he finds the GOP candidates’ plans “very credible,” before he went on complain about the Obama administration’s budget for increasing deficits too much:
Very credible. They are talking about entitlement reform. They are putting specifics on the table on Medicare and Social Security reform. The president, knowing that these are the big drivers of our debt, is ducking it. He gave us a budget that increases spending about $1.5 trillion and has a tax increase of $1.9 trillion. So out of the $47 trillion he is planning over the next ten years, he only wants to deliver about $400 billion of deficit reduction– is a scintilla of deficit reduction. It is ignoring the program, punting, ducking the issue. It’s the fourth budget from the president. It is not serious. We need serious leadership, and both of these candidates have put very credible, specific, serious plans on the table.
Ryan then dismissed the Tax Policy Center analysis showing that Romney’s planned 20 percent reduction in tax rates and repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax would increase the debt by $3 trillion, claiming that Romney has “base broadening” that will offset the cost. Romney has made the same claim, but has yet to provide any specifics about what sort of tax provisions he’ll eliminate. Simply put, his plan’s math doesn’t add up.
According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Romney’s plan would increase debt to 96 percent of GDP by 2021, unless he actually follows through with his offsets, at which point it would go to 86 percent. Santorum’s plan, meanwhile, would bring it to 104 percent of GDP. The Committee’s “realistic baseline” for the debt projects it going to 85 percent of GDP by 2021. So all of the GOP candidate’s plans (except for Ron Paul’s) make the debt projection substantially worse.
Ryan, of course, has plenty of experience with budget-busting economic plans, so perhaps its not surprising that he finds the latest offerings from the GOP candidates so enticing.