Last week, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is running for his state’s open Senate seat, proposed a “jobs plan” that included what he has claimed is $2 trillion in spending cuts. “In this plan, Roy identified over two trillion dollars in cuts right off the bat that can be taken out of government,” said former Missouri treasurer Sarah Steelman, who has endorsed Blunt’s campaign. But in what he charitably calls an “accounting error,” the Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling notes that fully one half of Blunt’s spending cuts aren’t actually spending cuts at all:
A look at that plan shows half of those savings — $1 trillion — would come from Blunt’s proposal to repeal the health care reform package…Repealing health care reform would eliminate $1 trillion in spending, but it would also eliminate the $1 trillion in tax and fee increases and Medicare reductions that are in the law as well. The net effect of health care repeal on the federal deficit is, roughly, zero.
Actually, contrary to Helling’s assertion, repealing the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t have zero effect on the deficit: it would actively increase it. According to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the bill would increase the deficit by $455 billion over the next ten years. But the point remains that the only way Blunt’s push for repeal works as a deficit reduction measure is if he plans to keep all of the tax increases and Medicare savings, without actually giving anyone any additional health care. And as The Wonk Room explains, Blunt’s other deficit reduction plans are equally unimpressive.