Because Americans are so unhappy with the current direction of the country, Republicans are expected to make big gains in the upcoming mid-term elections. It doesn’t seem to matter that GOP leaders such as John Boehner have refused to declare any agenda that they would use to govern, should their party take back Congress.
But Newsweek has an interesting analysis of GOP proposals, saying that the nation’s economic problems would worsen under a Republican Congress:
There’s only one problem with Boehner’s message: so far, the things that Republicans have said they want to do won’t actually boost employment or reduce deficits. In fact, much the opposite. By combing through a variety of studies and projections from nonpartisan economic sources, we here at Gaggle headquarters have found that if Republicans were in charge from January 2009 onward—and if they were now given carte blanche to enact the proposals they want to—the projected 2010–2020 deficits would be larger than they are under Obama, and fewer people would probably be employed.
The math is pretty straightforward. Let’s start with the deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama’s stimulus plan is projected to increase budget deficits over the next decade by $814 billion. That’s a big number. But Republicans opposed the legislation refused to provide an alternative, and now insist that it’s been a total failure. So let’s be generous and subtract it from their side of the equation. The Obama deficit: $814 billion. The GOP deficit: $0.
Next up is health-care reform. Obama passed it; Republicans want to repeal it “lock, stock, and barrel.” The reason, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained in July, is that “we all know that it’s going to increase the deficit.” Unfortunately for the GOP, though, nonpartisan experts tend to disagree. Just this Tuesday, for example, the CBO released a letter saying that Obama’s health-care-reform legislation would “reduce the projected budget deficit by $30 billion over the next 10 years,” while repealing the law would generate “an increase in deficits … of $455 billion … over that [same] period.” Factor those figures into the equation and the Obama deficit falls to $784 billion. The GOP deficit, meanwhile, rises to $455 billion. Getting warmer.
The final piece of the puzzle is the Bush tax cuts. Obama wants to extend them for the 95 percent of taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year; Republicans want to extend them for everybody. How will these extensions affect the deficit? Glad you asked. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, “the Democratic proposal would add about $3 trillion to the deficit during the next decade, while the GOP plan would cost $3.7 trillion.” That brings the total Obama deficit to $3.784 trillion over 10 years, and its GOP counterpart to—drumroll, please—$4.155 trillion.
If the GOP takes back Congress, the next few years will prove interesting, indeed.