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

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
10:11 am

Nothing,

Agreed that 25% cut would affect unemployment. However, how do you keep doing things you can’t afford?

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
10:11 am

Liberal Chicks are UGLY @9:47, why do you hate America and our free elections so much?

AFret

November 2nd, 2010
10:14 am

The people voted brown and sent an inexperienced community organizer to Washington. Now CT believes the repubs will screw up the budget by not reducing the deficit Obama doubled in one day. It’s Bush’s fault. Hope, Change, Blame Bush!!

The time is right

November 2nd, 2010
10:14 am

I agree, cut all foreign aid. As they already hate us.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
10:15 am

Bubba….getting rid of “healthcare” and returning to the “prior system” without addressing the costs and the problems is not solving the problems of this country. But you can pick and chose your mandate. People elected Obama in 2008, in part, to reform heath care.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:15 am

keep – you are shooting yourself in your debate foot – no one is to blame in your pollyanna universe. The Hot Tub Delay repubs promised fiscal responsiblity & failed; Bush spent like a Democrat; Clinton passed Republican legislation (NAFTA, Chinese PMFN status). Bush should have never supported TARP, but his ex-Goldman Sachs CEO buddy pushed it to save his old firm(and most likely a whole lot of his equity), the Dem congress going along was not surprising , it was a tax & spend bill. The whole stimulus notion, of “shovel ready” projects was pathetic, and the Dope in Chief now admits that – he had one bite at the apple & choked on it like the debutante he was. I wrote him a letter stating that if he gave every city & every county in the country $5 million no strings attached capital improvement $$$, he would profoundly stimulate the construction industry (the entire industry has been castrated the last 4 years). If the repubs really start slashing (reduced entire budget by 5% this year via the cuts outlined above), they will get this country back on track. Otherwise, you are making being a jobless lazy POS a viable lifestyle choice – is that good?

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
10:16 am

It’s Bush’s fault. Hope, Change, Blame Bush!!

AFret, like so many of the other apologists, you have it backwards.

NOTHING is Bush’s fault…

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 2nd, 2010
10:16 am

between 2002 and 2006 there was plenty of job growth. It shrank when the democraps took back congress.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:20 am

The navy has 11 aircraft carriers, with another on the way. How many does any other country have? We could slash this to 8 carriers, and still not worry about anybody attacking us (I would say we could slash to 6 active with 4 being in dry dock). The unemployment is not my problem – they could enlist in the army or marines & actually do some fighting.

Avenger

November 2nd, 2010
10:21 am

Nothing. ” Do you have any idea what trimming the Navy by 25% would do to the unemployment numbers?” Ain’t nothing free – you are for getting the deficit down – aren’t you?

The time is right

November 2nd, 2010
10:22 am

Fight

I think where the dems went wrong with healthcare is that they just wanted to pass it to make their mark in history. Both parties should join together in editing the 2000 pages of the bill and develop a realistic program.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:22 am

also, I would adopt a “wage equalization tariff”, to eliminate the unfair labor advantages that communist country’s have – this should stimulate smart companies to bring back their manufacturing jobs to the US. I would also repeal NAFTA, or at least amend to only apply to countries with reciprocal regulations – enviro, labor, civil rights.

elgrunir

November 2nd, 2010
10:23 am

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 2nd, 2010
10:16 am
between 2002 and 2006 there was plenty of job growth. It shrank when the democraps took back congress.

Prove it.

Oh, that’s right, you can’t.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:23 am

Heck, Cynthia Tucker proves that liberal chicks are NOT ugly – Ms. Tucker is into her 50’s and still looks exceptionally attractive – I am still trying to find out how to obtain an autographed photo of Ms. Tucker – I wish she would tell me!

AFret

November 2nd, 2010
10:24 am

AmVet, I did not say NOTHING is Bush’s fault. He just did not blame everything on Clinton.

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
10:24 am

Avenger brings up a good point.

Even if it is an ugly little secret.

The Department of Defense is the largest jobs program in the history of the nation.

Nothing else is even remotely close.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
10:26 am

Paddy…the construction industry boomed in a false bubble in part of their own creation. They have rallied their forces time and time again for wasted stimulus while ignoring the real solutions that can be their saviors but that is because the industry is skewed to new homes rather than fixing the current inventory.

There is no one group to blame for it all. A program gets passed, and several years later its mission is compromised by another set of politicians who add to it or who want to change it. Ultimately many fail because of the tampering. Some of it is fixing, some is a problem with original design, some is just screwing it up.

There is no easy answer, no easy one to blame, no easy fix. Its going to take time. Its going to take smart cutting and realizing that dollars do need to move from some areas to others. But it also going to take a stop to the stupidity of blaming anyone who arrives at the safety net as being lazy. Can there be abuses, yes. But dollar for dollar the real “abuses” are by those who take farm credits that should not get them, those corporations who pay no taxes because of credits and other accounting games, CEO who rip off their shareholders and a failure to give shareholders a real say in corporate governance. Its time to stop blaming “illegals” for all the woes in the world. It time to put on your man pants (to use a stupid phrase for the season) and realize simple answers are not there. Let’s get to the real business of working to fix the problems and stop the stupidity.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:26 am

Bush invaded Iraq for nothing, that was a whopper of an error. BUT, if 20 years from now Iraq is still democratic like Israel (as opposed to Egypt), then he will be a hero just like Reagan. But, nation building is NOT a republican policy.

Avenger

November 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

Paddy. We sailors are the ones the US call when it wants to win and stop the wars.

Call me Paco

November 2nd, 2010
10:28 am

Four Americans killed at Mexican border! we need to go to the border and start kicking some beaner ass, forget the taliban.

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
10:29 am

Probably because Clinton didn’t leave the White House and the rest of the republic smelling like an open sewer when he left, like George did.

Slick Willy was also law-averse, but at least he didn’t wipe his ___ with the United States Constitution like BushCorp did.

He had his failures too, but at least when he ran a military campaign, it went splendidly and we lost ZERO lives in combat, unlike the botched Crusades where over 5,000 flag-draped coffins came home to Dover AFB needlessly.

And on and on and on and on…

Which makes it all the more bizarre how the electorate completely blocks out the unending debacles and disasters of these non-conservative neo-cons and are now ready for more of the same.

Good times in Delusionville…

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:31 am

keep – agree to an extent, but it was really Greenspan urging “innovative” financing that ginned up the real estate market (mortgage backed securities, which were pumped up with ARM mortgages – what, 8% interest after 3 years? Great investment if the mortgagee pays the entire 30 years). Easy money policy ALWAYS overheats the economy, resulting in a deep recession/depression. I do not substantially blame builders – BUT, the bankers “bad business practices”. All the bankers were highly educated folks, but got super greedy – thus they fell in love with the reflection in the mirror. Hubris has a habit of coming back and seriously biting the entity in the butt.

Steveo

November 2nd, 2010
10:32 am

Fight @ 10:26

Well stated and it sounds like a great starting point. But who is going to make it happen? I have lost all my faith in the DC crowd. But I think this election is a wake up call for both sides!

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:32 am

However, 9/11 can be easily placed on Bill Clintons left over foreign policy debacles – ironic that now his wife is SOS.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:34 am

avenger – you are dreaming. The Marines, yes; sailors, uh, how many sailors on a ship were killed in the last two wars? How many ships have been sunk? How many opposing navies have fired upon a US ship?

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:36 am

AmVet – do you remember using NATO to attack kosovo? That is in no way the proper mission for NATO? Do you remember Clinton effectively crushing those who bombed the WTC in 93? Blew up the 2 embassies in Africa? Bombed the Cole?

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
10:36 am

AFret to my point, read the second 10:32.

Even though BushCorp was completely asleep at the wheel for nine months and even though they myopically and completely disregarded imminent warnings of the exact threat, it is Slick Willy’s fault…

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:41 am

AmVet – they did not block it out – the Iraq war proved to be unnecessary, so the conservative stayed home & the dems came in. The electorate is a pendulum, keying on spending & the economy. Neither highly paid party can do the tough job – cutting spending & firing a whole lot of federal employees, including reducing the Navy – i believe, & maybe avenger can confirm – we have 440 ships afloat throughout the world – it is not sustainable, considering we have no viable enemies.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
10:44 am

AmVet – we do concur, and a lot of this bad economy goes back to Bush/Paulsen – but, Obutthead really blew his stimulus $$$ opportunity – proved he is as dumb at the economy as Bush was in disasters.

Independent J

November 2nd, 2010
10:48 am

LadyGG…

really? All of America’s problems….damn your insightful…Can we blame Obamas war in Afghanistan for all of our economic downfalls …or is that a free pass…lol
please dont breed!!!

paleo-neo-Carlinist

November 2nd, 2010
10:51 am

Paddy O, hate to sound like a broken record, but go to theamericanconservative.com and read this month’s slam of central banking and the Fed for some additional ammo to throw at Greenspan and the concept of debt-fueled spending. also, while both Clinton and Bush are culpable re: 9/11, if you really want to be fair (and balanced), you might go all the way back to Ike (CIA operations in Iran, which installed the Shah). interestingly enough, it was neo-con punching bag Jimmy Carter who reluctantly identified the Middle East (oil) as a “strategic interest” of the USA, but urged Americans to reduce consumption of oil (”turn down the thermostat”) with in lieu of the “blood and treasure” required to represent US interests in the region.

Tommy Maddox

November 2nd, 2010
10:56 am

Whoa – a whole lot of hand wringing going on…

willie lynch

November 2nd, 2010
10:59 am

I’m still mystified. Did government shrink under the last Republican administration? Conservative restraint? What the he%% are you people talking about?

You people really are stupid!

Road Scholar

November 2nd, 2010
11:00 am

Based on Conservative’s comments in the past, and if they capture either the Senate or House, the Repubs will be responsible for the deficit and budget. let the conservative whining begin! Oh it has for the last two years…

Tommy Maddox

November 2nd, 2010
11:09 am

Nope Willie – the government did not shrink under the last Republican Admin. That is what gave rise in part to the Tea Party brand.

JDW

November 2nd, 2010
11:13 am

“Kinda like the past 2 years, huh Cynthia? Has it hit $14 trillion yet?”

Not to spoil a good lie PeaDawg, but the first Obama Administration deficit is about $1.29 Trillion vs. Duhbya’s last one of $1.4 Trillion. Neither are good but the assertion that Obama has increased the deficit is incorrect. A more proper way of saying it is that you don’t think he has fixed it fast enough.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
11:15 am

Finally, some truth & understanding of CAUSE & AFFECT – the TEA party rose due to the false promises of repubs & the tax & spend philosophy of the “big tent” of losers that is the democratic party. If repubs fail, as I stated, next go around you will have a very viable TEA party – who although they are not very oriented to foreign policy (really the executive branches duty), could come in and really slash spending by 5 – 20 % per year for the next 5 years, and we would be close to a balanced budget. However, you need to have a surplus of about $500 billion to pay off the debt & reimburse the SS trust fund.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
11:16 am

Our solution to oil (internal combustion engine which has been around for over 120 years now), is electric cars – why has GE not done this? Stock owned by oil companies, or just too interested in taking all their profit and creating GE financial?

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
11:18 am

JDW – I would say he has exasperated the deficit, with exceptionally poorly planned and executed Stimulus – he utterly failed to deliver on his policy goal of 8% unemployment. Why? Obutthead did not know what he was doing with the trillion – just as would have been expected from a novice.

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
11:20 am

News flash, the government has not shrunk under ANY Republican administration in my lifetime. Presuming that Ike didn’t.

The insanely misnamed term fiscal conservatism is for Reaganesque rubes only…

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
11:20 am

I am of the distinct impression our entire economy (the claim it is 15 trillion) is a house of cards. It is really about 11 trillion.

James

November 2nd, 2010
11:20 am

Someone said it earlier- enable the great American worker, fade DC, and grow the darn pie versus arguing about how to slice the pie. Along with growing the pie, stop dropping pieces of the pie on the floor and calling it “necessary”- see the drunken Krugman and the Fed for that one.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
11:20 am

AmVet – repubs just look like fiscal conservatives in light of democratic spending tendencies.

Paddy O

November 2nd, 2010
11:21 am

AmVet – if Clinton had a democratic congress from 94 – 2000, does he have a budget surplus?

willie lynch

November 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

Tommy,

TP is Republican lite. They will get swallowed up once the politics get rolling. If TP’s really think they have a chance to do something, they drank the koolaid.

The Repubs used them to help stir votes and they only went further right to get elected. Once they feel they’ve gotten what they want TP’s will have outlived their usefulness. Name the TP candidates who will have clout in DC.

Sorry, but you’ve been played.

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
11:28 am

“AmVet – if Clinton had a democratic congress from 94 – 2000, does he have a budget surplus?”

Of course not.

He never had one in the first place.

Accounting tricks, mainly involving Social Security, and Washington doublespeak on a massive scale had bipartisan support.

Which was interesting, but not useful…

Sorry, duty calls. Being a good little capitalist and exercising my right to franchise.

See y’all later…

barking frog

November 2nd, 2010
11:29 am

Deficits reflect a negative in revenue, Debt may
reflect a confidence in the governments ability
to protect assets. Neither is a true picture of
the financial health of the US. Only a balance
sheet could show our net worth and that is
darn near impossible to produce. What value
would US good will have?

Tommy Maddox

November 2nd, 2010
11:29 am

Well, we’ll see bud. I hope you’re wrong but we’ll all see ’bout the same time.

Bring back "Babe Alley" to the Georgia Capitol

November 2nd, 2010
11:34 am

The term “deficit” is actually very misleading as it only refers to the amount of money that the federal government will borrow in a single fiscal year to cover the total amount of “expenditures” in the final budget. The deficit is currently in the 1.5 TRILLION dollar range, a shockingly large enough number, right? The NATIONAL DEBT is actually the best way to measure the federal government’s fiscal health, or in this case, ailing fiscal health…..and the nat’l debt just happens to be a measly 14 TRILLION dollars compared against a 13 trillion dollar GDP…..So all is well, right?

AFret

November 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

I guess the name calling does not apply in certain cases, huh, CT!!!

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!