A prediction: Republicans won’t shrink the deficit

In this election cycle, Republicans have made curbing federal spending a big part of their campaign. They’ve also pledged to cut taxes. And the two promises certainly sound good to voters.
So, if the GOP wins the House, as expected, what will happen to the deficit? Here’s my prediction: Two years from now, the deficit will be no smaller. It may even be larger. Why? Because Republicans won’t do much to rein in spending. And if they cut taxes, there won’t be enough revenue to fund the budget.
It’s simple elementary school math.
It might help to take a look at how the federal budget got to be such a mess. Justin Fox of the Harvard Business Review Group says:

In other words, the giant deficit is mainly the result of the collapse in tax receipts brought on by the recession, not the increase in spending. Nice to know, huh?

You can read more about Fox’s model here.
Republicans, aided by the rightwing communications machine, have persuaded voters of a couple of things that happen to be wrong. One is that President Obama has substantially increased spending on wasteful government programs. In fact, one-third of the stimulus was in the form of tax cuts. And the bank bail-out, which started under George W. Bush, has mostly been paid back — earning taxpayers a profit. The health insurance law will reduce the deficit over ten years, not add to it, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
But continuing to depress revenues with a huge tax cut for rich Americans will certainly make the deficit larger. That’s a fact.

409 comments Add your comment

granny godzilla

November 2nd, 2010
8:54 am

RAGS

While you might like to say Bush spent like a democrat he really did spend like a Republican….

Oh and Rags, I don’t believe your comment about those companies being run by corporate democrats. I think you pulled that out of your old bag of tricks…..you know the one – when you don’t have an accurate
response you make up one and toss out some uncommon terminologys to impress us, you know like, like creative destruction. You could just as easily mentioned Endogenous growth or Stiglitz’ development economics or the Ramsey growth model and the Exogenous growth model…..

If you don’t get that Bush spent like a real republican you can toss around all the buzz words you want, but you remain wrong.

And in typical fashion you cannot even acknowledge that Obama has already reduced the deficit.

Bubba

Did you think they were all banks? Really?

gator24

November 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

The spin is as always,let the free market operate without any regulations and we will all be fine. This will cure the foreclosure problems and create jobs. The Bush tax cuts will create jobs if they are extended and all the new regulations are repealed. I don’t understand, the tax cuts have been in a effect for the past ten years,so where are the jobs. Their should have been millions of new jobs created and a lot of wealth for everybody. No one has explained why it hasn’t happen. However, it will happen after this election according to the so called experts. I guess its better to wait and see or maybe will should all join a ponzi scheme to increase our chance of making lots of money. Oh yea,the tax cuts will reduce the Federal deficit by one trillion dollars over the next two years if nothing else is done, except repealing the new Health care law. Fear is alive and well these days just as Gay marriage was in 2004.

quod erat demonstrandum

November 2nd, 2010
9:00 am

While it is doubtful that the deficit will shrink by any large amount, if we hold our Representatives in Congress accountable, we might stop the bleeding in the budget.

If this new batch does not help stop the massive spending, they will also be one term elected officials.

quod erat demonstrandum

November 2nd, 2010
9:01 am

gator24,

Why are you against the current tax rates? Unless you are unemployed, your tax rates will rise next year.

kayaker 71

November 2nd, 2010
9:02 am

I seem to remember a few select comments by people on this blog about the shrinking numbers of the GOP and how they were were going to have to have their next RNC in some phone booth. Comments abounded about the shrinking size of the Republican base and how, as a party, they were toast. Well, stories do have good endings sometimes and, no, we are not in the bucket by a long shot, despite liberal rantings and ravings. Would you like your crow sauteed or fried?

Paul

November 2nd, 2010
9:02 am

quod erat

And who will replace them?

This time around, it’s the party in power and the moderates from the minority party. Are you saying the voters will grant more time to the incoming group than they granted to the current members? If they do that, isn’t that a contradiction?

Shawny

November 2nd, 2010
9:05 am

“A prediction: Republicans won’t shrink the deficit”

Correct, until we get the Spender in Chief out of office.

Rick

November 2nd, 2010
9:07 am

LeeH1 November 2nd, 2010 8:39 am

The only way to shrink the budget is to target the big ones: medicare, the military, social security. All this crap about cutting the budget except these are meaningless.
===========================
Agreed these are big targets.

The military is also a source of JOBS for US citizens and H1-B visa contractors. We shouldn’t be protecting the world at our expense when we can take care of our own here. Bring back all troops overseas and close down all US military bases overseas.

The US government should get a cut of all US weapons sales containing weapons built or designed at government expense. Otherwise, military spending should only be for defense of our nation.

Stop trying to buy the “loyalty” of other nations. Doesn’t work, they just ally themselves with those who contribute the most to their bottom line and “loyalty” is circumspect is most cases.

As far as Medicare and Social Security…aren’t these programs to benefit our own citizens? Even Republicans want to help those who need help, as long as those needing help have been responsible.

How can we cut SS benefits when US citizens have actually “paid” for them? Why wasn’t the trust fund allowed to “grow” instead of being spent on other programs? This has been bipartisan irresponsibility!

Eliminate all earmarks/pork projects and make bills that target one problem. Stop with all the miscellaneous amendments. Force separate items onto separate bills and hold our elected officials accountable by documenting their votes in local newspapers.
Cut foreign aid!

Punish business owners that hire illegal workers!

Create programs for able-bodied workers on unemployment to spent at least 20 hours a week performing some civil tasks ([highway, parks, and urban cleanup for low skilled citizens], [chasing down government/medicare corruption for higher skilled citizens]) where their skills can be used to offset the government monies being provided to them.

Stop subsidies to farmers. If farmers can not produce and deliver their product without government subsidies then we need to buy our food from the lowest cost provider until the agricultural community modernizes.

quod erat demonstrandum

November 2nd, 2010
9:09 am

Paul,

If the people, we elect do not do the job we elected them for, we can replace the House members in 2 years. The folks elected to the Senate will take longer to replace.

In 2012, we will elect a whole new house of representatives.

ctucker

November 2nd, 2010
9:10 am

ALibertarian@7:51, Of course. And how does one do that? Tax cuts? The Bush tax cuts DID NOT grow the economy. There was zero net jobs growth between 2000 and 2008.

ctucker

November 2nd, 2010
9:11 am

Peadawg@7:58, I don’t recall that in 2008 Obama campaigned on reducing the deficit.

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
9:12 am

Granny,

I didn’t say they were all banks. I said “All the big banks you listed”. I just think it’s funny that you try to associate the rich banks with Republicans all the while the same big banks are hand in hand with the Democrats. The irony is rich.

Eye am right and ewe are wrong

November 2nd, 2010
9:12 am

CT

You base your statements on what? Your hatred of the GOP? You can’t even write a column without cutting and pasting other peoples work. It’s time to admit the left has failed along with your boy BO. There are now three parties in the US,GOP, dems and the president.

Scout

November 2nd, 2010
9:12 am

Prediction – Democrats would make it larger.

James

November 2nd, 2010
9:13 am

Obama set high expectations (Obama was a snake oil salesman) and people felt (felt is an emotion- Obama gets an F- there is a score card). The ultra left and right need to assimilate and step aside. First we will have unproductive grid lock and fade DC. We will then see more moderate gov’t versus this made for tv garbage.

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
9:13 am

“A prediction: Republicans won’t shrink the deficit”

Correct, until we get the Spender in Chief out of office.

A neo-con epiphany? At long last? Woo Hoo!

Never mind that over the past 30 years the GOP has irrefutably done the exact opposite.

They have chosen to explode the cost, size, scope, waste and inefficiencies of government.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

November 2nd, 2010
9:16 am

TODAY YOU RACISTS CRACKERS WILL GET YOUR WISH TO VOTE FOR YOUR EVIL REPUBLICANS!

PLEASE NATHAN DEAL AND OTHER REPUBLICANS,FINISH THE JOB OF BREAKING THESE REDNECKS IN RURAL GEORGIA!

GLAD THAT THESE HICKS BANKS ARE CLOSING,HOW DID THOSE 8 YEARS OF BUSH TAXCUTS WORKOUT?

WHERE DID THOSE JOBS GO?

BUSH SAID 8 YEARS OF TAXCUTS WILL PRODUCE JOBS? WHERE ARE THEY? YOU CRACKERS WILL CONTINUE TO GET WHAT IS COMING TO YOU? HELL AND BRIMSTONE!

Billybob

November 2nd, 2010
9:17 am

Tucker,
Are you saying that the democrats since Jan 07′/Obama’s record spending have put the country in the position where the only way to rein in the deficit is by instituting huge tax increases? Thanks for enlightening everyone to the utter disgrace that has been the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Savings & Loan….keep talking Tucker, you are doing great!!!!!

USMC DAWG

November 2nd, 2010
9:18 am

Cynthia Tucker’s prediction is worth garbage

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

November 2nd, 2010
9:18 am

BEING FROM THE SOUTH,THE EVIL DIXIECRATS ARE NOW THE EVIL REPUBLICANS!

paleo-neo-Carlinist

November 2nd, 2010
9:18 am

ALiberatrian, every heard the word “counterproductive”? If we “grow the economy” via debt-financed spending (the Fed pumping more cash into the system), we lose because we have demonstrated that any increase in revenue is wiped out by debt-service; AND inflation, which reduces the actual buying power of the dollar. the ONLY solution is to reduce spending AND increase revenues.

quod erat demonstrandum

November 2nd, 2010
9:19 am

AmVet,

The Congress controls the purse strings of the Government. No money is spent unless Congress votes on it.

I do not hold Obama responsible for the deficit, I hold Congress responsible.

All Obama did was tell Congress what he wanted and the wimps rolled all over themselves to comply.

If we had a congress with any type of backbone we would not be in this mess.

Aquagirl

November 2nd, 2010
9:20 am

Rick, that’s a great list. Suggest it to the Republicans. You’ll get as far as CT at a Tea Party rally.

Paul

November 2nd, 2010
9:20 am

quod erat 9:09

But who will we replace them with?

The current crop’s displacing moderates and liberals. If the incoming group of fiscal conservatives don’t meet expectations, who gets the job? Another group of fiscal conservatives? Why trust the same group if they didn’t get the job done?

Serious question. Seems to me if they don’t get the job done, it’s the premise of what they can do that’s faulty.

Eye am right and ewe are wrong

November 2nd, 2010
9:22 am

Keep up the good fight!
November 2nd, 2010
8:08 am

And where are these “real brains” and “rational minds” coming from? Are they the same clowns who had control of congress and the White House the past two tears? Strom troopers, perverts the name calling begins. It’s going to be along two years for loser. The whole left wing falls under one moniker LIER!!!!!!

ctucker

November 2nd, 2010
9:23 am

Bubba Bob@8:24, It’s the Republicans who have been campaigning that they will rein in spending. They should be judged on their rhetoric, right?

Jack

November 2nd, 2010
9:23 am

I have a corporation, but didn’t know I was an overlord and I don’t know where the money bags are.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

November 2nd, 2010
9:26 am

the true brillance of the “let the market sort things out” crowd is the fact that a true free market is about as ruthless and bloody as it gets, and yet “the suits” hold power via their de facto ownership of government (law and law enforcement). it is very much like war itself; poor people fighting to protect the assets (wealth) of the rich. all the flag waving and ideology is just the pitch.

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
9:27 am

Ctucker,

They should be judged by what they claim. However, if the President won’t play along with their cuts then who’s fault will it be?

I’m not even saying they will cut. Heck, I’m voting third party on some things because I’m tired of all of them. However, I think it’s dishonest of you to say it will be all the Republican’s fault when Obama has to play along as well.

Granny Godblessamerica

November 2nd, 2010
9:30 am

granny godzilla
November 2nd, 2010
8:15 am

JKL2

ACtually the budget was released as is traditional in early February.

Try a little accuracy, it’s terribly sexy!

Wrong old lady

It was presented to congress but never ratified.
You silly left wing lemmings just never get it right.
Accuracy will make you….never mind!

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
9:31 am

Bubba…now tell me exactly…from 2006 until 2008, the Dems are to blame because they controlled the house and senate but there was a Republican president. If the Reps have the House and the Senate in 2010 until 2012, the Dems are to blame because there is a Dem president….

Are Republicans ever to responsible?

quod erat demonstrandum

November 2nd, 2010
9:32 am

Paul,

If you keep knocking down a spider web, the spider will get the message and move on.

Even a Congressman can be taught.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
9:33 am

Carlin….well let’s be honest…you’re right about the brutality of the “free market”. However a truly free market presumes a great deal including complete information held by all market actors, level playing fields… simply put, there is no such thing as a free market.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

November 2nd, 2010
9:34 am

QED @ 9:19. excellent point, just as Obama’s predecessor told the Congress to “roll over” in 2002/03 (Iraq). I noted this last week – when sombody opined about the percentage of Dems vs. Reps after today’s elections. who cares? Americans need to focus on “who?” owns the Congress. the President has a bully pulpit for whatever pork (presented as agenda) he wants to dole out, so when there is a tax and spend Dem in the White House, the bulk of the pork goes left, and when there is a borrow and spend GOPer at 1600 PA Ave., most of the pork goes right. and guess feeds the pig, but doesn’t get any bacon? John and Joan Q. Public. happy election day!

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
9:37 am

Keep,

As far as anything being Republican’s fault you must not be familiar with me. I complained for 8 years that Bush was spending too much. I do hold the Rep. responsible for that.

I didn’t say it would be Obama’s fault. I’m saying that it’s dishonest to hold the Republicans totally responsible for not reducing the debt/deficit if Obama doesn’t play along. What do you say?

paleo-neo-Carlinist

November 2nd, 2010
9:40 am

Keep up, exactly, and were I to be a truly cynical, subversive, anarchist; I would contemplate the sobering reality that the concept of “freedom” itself (civil liberties/Constitution) falls into the category of political mythology. that is to say, proferring the narrative that thr USA is ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave” is form than substance. I think Thomas Paine pondered this question as the Republic was taking shape. I “freely” admit I don’t have a solution, and maybe Jefferson (or was it Madison) didn’t either, which led to the admition that (paraphrase) “a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”

resno2

November 2nd, 2010
9:46 am

“promises certainly sound good to voters.”

They certainly did when promised by obama… ‘not one thin dime in new taxes’…

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
9:46 am

Bubba…I think it is dishonest to blame Obama for the current deficits and for the fiscal mess he inherited. It is dishonest to blame all Republicans and/or all Democrats.

It will be dishonest to blame Obama and the Dems as it has been for the past 2 years for the failures of the Republicans to try to compromise and achieve real action. If the Republicans start off with a repeal of insurance reform, they have shown their feathers just as they are the party of no now, and fail to acknowledge the numerous Republicans suggestions that were included in many Obama bills. If the Republicans roll back financial reform, they are to blame.

If they propose reasonable bills to cut costs and compromise with the Dems and Obama, not granting tax cuts for income above $250k, then I am all for them.

JohnnyReb

November 2nd, 2010
9:46 am

Ms Tucker, please ditch the White House talking points spin on the wealthy tax cut.

There is no tax cut for wealthy Americans under consideration, period.

If the Bush tax cuts are extended, things will remain status quo. If the Bush tax cuts are not extended, or extended for a select few, there will be a tax increase. It is true if the tax cuts expire there would be more tax revenue. Most everyone but the die-hard Barry supporters agree the economy can’t handle a tax increase at this time.

Lastly, the Democrats did not have the fortitude to pass a budget before the elections because they did not want Americans to see just how bad things are under their control. So, knock off the Republicans will produce higher deficits as even with Dems in control that would likely be the case.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 2nd, 2010
9:47 am

Unless you’re a pud whacking liberal, go vote. If you are pud whacking liberal or a liberal of anykind really, stay home and collect your welfare check.

Nothing Is Free

November 2nd, 2010
9:47 am

Granny’s got the make believe deficit numbers from make believe liberal world:

2006 8.451.4 Trillion
2007 8.950.7 Trillion
2008 9.985.8 Trillion
2009 12.311.4 Trillion
2010 (2 Sept) 13.442.1 Trillion

Now what year did the democrats cut the deficit?

TINSTAAFL

November 2nd, 2010
9:50 am

I’m not going to take the time to argue with some of the neanderthals in this forum, because, frankly, I have better things to do. I just wanted to stop by and reminisce. I remember arguing with some of the handels on this same blog two years ago in November about whether the Republican party was done for. It was the opinion of many of the liberal regulars that the party was done, kaputz, finito. It would be confined as a southern, regional party. Democrats were finally going to transform America in the utopia they’ve wanted for so long. I remember arguing for a while with Granny Godzilla, although I’m not sure she was granny at the time. I don’t think that Keep up the good fight! had reared his head from the primordial soup from whence he/she came. Regardless, there are plenty of fonts on here that would look quite stupid if one took the time to go back two years ago and read the comments.

Like I said. Just wanted to take the time to reminisce. I’m certainly having fun doing it, and laughing the entire time.

George P. Burdell

November 2nd, 2010
9:51 am

The main thing about this guys report is that his expenditures appear to be wrong in 2010 unless something changed “recently” and multiple data sources are incorrect. His numbers for every other year match exactly, but he lists ependitures at 3.46 trillion while the sources list it at 3.72 trillion. If the $3.72 trillion is correct, that significantly changes how much more we have overspent and takes a lot of the bite out of his argument.

Nothing Is Free

November 2nd, 2010
9:52 am

Nothing could be clearer:

Want to see what happened when the democrats took over in 2006?

Take out the spaces and look at this chart: http:// en.wikipedia. org/wiki/File: US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
9:54 am

Keep,

So if they run on cutting the deficit but don’t then don’t try to they are hypocrites? I agree.

If they run on getting rid of the healthcare bill but don’t try to are they hypocrites? They are.

What you are really saying is that they should do what you want or they are hypocrites.

I’m voting for people who I hope will cut back/get rid of the healthcare bill. I hope they do what they say they will do or at least try.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
9:55 am

If Cynthia is correct, then the Repubs will be voted out & you will have a viable TEA party – who with another 2 years will actually start electing representatives. The Repubs have an opportunity to live up to their rhetoric. If they fail & go back to the Hot Tub Delay days, they will be gone. BUT, Democrats will not replace them – a genuine slash spending party will.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
9:58 am

How to reduce deficit: Terminate 100% of foreign aid/assistance (Aids for Africa, Haiti, etc, etc about 1000 times); Terminate 100% of federal grants without dedicated funding / Shrink the military – remove troops from Korea, Japan & Germany (place some on Mexican border) – but primarily shrink the Navy by 25%; Terminate the EIC; Terminate all corporate welfare, including substantial shrinkage of the farm bill / Trade food donations throughout the world for our dues paid to the UN / Wage freeze for 5 years on all federal employees making over $75,000 – terminate 100% of bonus pay (yeah, I am talking about you schmucks at the CDC – F Julie Gerberding) – this would be a start.

Billybob

November 2nd, 2010
10:01 am

Tucker,
After reading your column I should ask…….Did you get the jump on the California weed vote this morning? Trust me Tucker, by the end of the day you will need it! DC has many ‘medical cheebah’ shops at your disposal. Happy toking…..

John

November 2nd, 2010
10:02 am

Republicans won’t shrink the deficit. They keep talking about less spending; however, will not give any specifics of what they would cut. The only think they have said is we need to roll spending back to 2008 levels. If they forgotten, in 2008 we were in a deficit. If they’re really concerned about the deficit, why not cut spending as well as go back to the tax rates we had in place during the last time we had a surplus…during the Clinton administration.

Nothing Is Free

November 2nd, 2010
10:03 am

Paddy O

Do you have any idea what trimming the Navy by 25% would do to the unemployment numbers?