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

ALibertarian

November 2nd, 2010
7:51 am

Ever heard of “growing the economy” as a way to get more federal revenues?

Peadawg

November 2nd, 2010
7:57 am

“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.”

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

stands for decibels

November 2nd, 2010
7:58 am

Republicans, aided by the rightwing communications machine, have persuaded voters of a couple of things that happen to be wrong

a couple?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
7:59 am

With all due respect, I do not care about the deficit. I care about the level of government non-military spending, as that is the destructive force in our economic nature. Nobody with a brain believes a democrat will ever reduce government non-mlitary spending. Hope and change resides only with republicans, even if the pulse there is weak.

stands for decibels

November 2nd, 2010
8:01 am

Peadawg, the debt is not the same as the deficit.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
8:03 am

Thank goodness the Supreme Court remembered that the first amendment forbids Congress from making any law abridging the freedom of speech. With the power of money, for the first time in my life, we actually have hundreds of competitive Congressional elections. The overlords efforts to constrain our efforts, to rein in their control over our lives, are now for naught.

stands for decibels

November 2nd, 2010
8:04 am

But since PD brought up the debt, yeah, it’s around 14 trillion, and no matter who is President perhaps a decade or so down the road, when we finally have something resembling a surplus and begin paying down teeny bits of debt? It’ll be 18, 19, probably 20 trillion.

And these silly arguments over whether it did or didn’t make sense for a President in 2009 to spend a few hundred billion trying to tide over bankrupt state budgets and get some people back to work will seem rather quaint.

stands for decibels

November 2nd, 2010
8:05 am

With the power of money, for the first time in my life, we actually have hundreds of competitive Congressional elections.

Ayn Rand’s biggest fan welcomes his insect overlords.

anyway, some of us gotta go produce. later…

Mystified

November 2nd, 2010
8:07 am

It took you a while to finally find someone who could divert the blame for the deficit from the Democrats. I could quote from my Aunt Charlotte but nobody has ever heard of her either. You are right though in your prediction. The deficit won’t be reduced because a republican house still has to deal with a democrat senate and a democrat white house. I’m ok with that as long as two years from now they can show conservative initiatives aimed at getting spending under control and generating revenues. Let Obama and the Senate vote down or veto every conservative initiative.

The next phase in “restoring sanity” to DC comes in 2012.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
8:08 am

In 2 years they will again blame the Democrats for anything that ails the country. They will waste 2 years playing politics while the real needs of this country fail to get met. And their base will continue to play their “we are victims” card to everything their stormtroopers do, their Nazi reenactors, their racists and their perverts. They will continue to move to the right if they have significant wins tonight but they will only control, at best, the House. If they don’t get the House, the best chance for the country is that rational minds begin to prevail, they reject the tea baggers, and that people with real brains will begin to reject the “smaller government/lower taxes” chant to discuss smarter government, where to cut spending and how to pay down the debt.

JKL2

November 2nd, 2010
8:08 am

Since the Democrats aren’t even proposing a budget I’m guessing they have no plan to reduce the deficit. So even if the Republicans fail to live up to their expectations, they will at least be equal to the Democrats. Let’s give the new kid a chance before you beat him down…

Mystified

November 2nd, 2010
8:10 am

By the way…. I didn’t get to comment on the restoring sanity rally or whatever it was called. I was very impressed with what I saw and I do believe democrats are making progress. They held a rally and no store fronts were smashed, no flags were burned, no fake racism claims were made, and no cops were spit at. Maybe civility is making gains among liberals.

granny godzilla

November 2nd, 2010
8:11 am

Hey Rags!

Hey Rags!

Yep, the cash drained human overlords will be replaced with the money bags corporate overlords.

Won’t that be special!

SmittyATL

November 2nd, 2010
8:11 am

Cynthia, you may be right. It will probably take multiple election cycles before our so-called leaders get the message and have the backbone to truly reign in spending. The public has become conditioned to expect government programs to fix everything, so cutting the deficit will be painful. We don’t want to give up Social Security and Medicare, but we can’t afford it, so we eventually will have not choice but to cut benefits; we might as well come up with a plan now to phase these programs out in the least disruptive way possible. I hope the public’s attention span is long enough that we can see this through for as long as it takes to achieve the goal of fiscal responsibility. If not, the next generation of Americans will pay absurd taxes just to cover the interest on our out-of-control spending. It is a huge problem, and we have to stop hiding our heads in the sand.

I don’t think the next Congress has much of a chance to substantially shrink the deficit, especially with Obama in the WH. But at least the public is waking up to the impending crisis, so it is a start…

Rick

November 2nd, 2010
8:12 am

Cynthia, you made a prediction.

The flip side of that is the certainty that Democrats will never shrink the deficit as they allow illegal aliens to take jobs that US citizens need to support their families.

Democrats who do not reduce legal immigration as US citizens need jobs and the current economy doesn’t even create enough jobs to keep up with the population increase.

Democrats who keep on building a welfare state and where 47% of US citizens do not pay federal taxes.

Democrats who call anyone who opposes them “enemies” and “Nazis” while the call illegal aliens “patriots”!

Democrats who put the interests of foreign nationals before those of US citizens.

oedipus

November 2nd, 2010
8:12 am

fear will expand, reasoning will contract

Mystified

November 2nd, 2010
8:14 am

Let’s see…..Call anyone who disagrees with you Nazi..claim only that people who agree with you are reasonable….Anyone else is small minded. Act completely oblivious to the impact of your failed policies… Yep. KEEP… You’re a democrat.

Jethro

November 2nd, 2010
8:14 am

If the “leftwing communications machine” was worth a hoot, the tea partiers would be a blip on the radar. Bad politics on the Democrats’ part, Ms. Tucker.

Simply put, the Democrats didn’t learn from the mistakes the Republicans made in 2006 to end their tenure. The simplest of these mistakes was that they should have been listening instead of shouting at us, telling us what we need. They should have been reaching out to the other side instead of saying “it’s my way or the highway.” Didn’t work for Republicans then; didn’t work for Democrats now.

There must be something in the air that makes all inhabitants of Washington D.C. deaf.

Bob

November 2nd, 2010
8:15 am

They will try to reduce and dems will claim that babies and their mothers are being starved to death.

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!

granny godzilla

November 2nd, 2010
8:17 am

Rick

Actually the democrats reduced the deficit 120 billion in their first fiscal year.

Again, accuracy is terribly sexy.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
8:19 am

Msytified…I did not call anyone who disagrees with me a Nazi…but nice play of the victim card. Typical. Hard to deny that a Republican is a Nazi reenactor. Do you want me to go through the entire list from Carl the perv emailer, to the tea party white supremecists members, to the Rand Stomper. Each one clearly identifies a current Republican candidate. And if pointing out the failure of the Republicans to weed out the crazies and the extremists is “small minded” and makes you a victim, well then so be it. I suspect your going to continue the victim card play no matter what.

jt

November 2nd, 2010
8:21 am

“And the bank bail-out, which started under George W. Bush, has mostly been paid back — earning taxpayers a profit.”

A profit????????????????……Did Paul Krugman come up with that figure?…The propaganda from the Feds is starting to lose its effectiveness. It is still amusing to listen to though. How can a reporter actually write this stuff and still sleep at night?

Only the Gov’t can claim a profit while losing billions. Of course when it is not your money to start out with it is all profit.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
8:21 am

Dear Granny @ 8:11, good morning, yes, it will be refreshing to have governance by people who have half a grain of economic sense, instead of the geniuses who destroyed our economy since Nov 2006.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 2nd, 2010
8:24 am

We’re going to shrink the dummycrat party and that’s all that matters, just sayin…

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
8:24 am

Let’s see, the Dems have had the Senate, House, and Presidency for two years and they haven’t shrunk the deficit.

The Reps. might have the House and that’s all. Somehow you’ll be blaming them if the deficit doesn’t shrink. That makes a lot of sense.

You do realize they’ll need the Senate to pass the same bill and the President to sign it, right?

Mystified

November 2nd, 2010
8:25 am

So the democrats have weeded out all of their crazies. You’re wrong about that… we ignore ours and hope they go away… You give yours nobel peace prizes.

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
8:25 am

“The flip side of that is the certainty that Democrats thousands of law breaking business owners will never shrink the deficit as they profit illegally by allowing illegal aliens to take jobs that US citizens need to support their families.

When did the GOP become the Party of No Personalty Responsibility?

Mystified

November 2nd, 2010
8:26 am

Bubba Bob,

They do realize that… They are just practicing for 2012.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
8:26 am

Dear Granny @ 8:17, 2007? You deceptively conceal that the dems ran up the deficit by $1 trillion in the first month of Obama-dominance.

granny godzilla

November 2nd, 2010
8:29 am

Rags

1/2 grain of economic sense?

I suggest it’s a trailer load of economic greed with a side of usury.

But it’s all a matter of prospective.

I mean Enron and AIG and Haliburton and BP and Massey and Lehman Bros and WOrld Com and Washington Mutual and Pan Am and Indy Mac and Arbusto
were shining examples of economic sense!

granny godzilla

November 2nd, 2010
8:31 am

Rags

You mean while working under the Bush budget?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
8:32 am

Dear Granny @ 8:29, I never realized you were so affectionate for the massive buggy-whip industry. I know you are unfamiliar with Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” theories, but that is the dynamic that gives us computers and microwaves. By the way, most of your companies were run by corporatist democrats – people who seek to use government coercion to compel people to buy their products, a la Obamacare – rather than free-market republicans.

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
8:33 am

Granny,

All those big banks you listed. Which party do you think they gave more money to? Democrats….

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
8:34 am

Dear Granny @ 8:31, newsflash, the spending authority resides with the House.

James

November 2nd, 2010
8:34 am

KUTGF- The nazi thing is a little drama queenish as it requires ethnic cleansing, extreme hatred, and the like- Obama is the best fascist I have seen since…… W.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 2nd, 2010
8:34 am

But, dear Granny @ 8:31, we would agree that Bush spent like a democrat.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
8:36 am

Mysty…you “ignore yours” by running them as candidates and repackaging them hoping that everyone forgets what is under the surface. Give them a nice website, take out the crazy comments, have them hide from the media (and only give interviews to their “friends”) and tell us they will answer questions after they are elected. Whisper birther claims. And then call your opposition crazy when all else fails. Play the victim card over and over. Nice try. I’d be ashamed to call myself a Republican given the collective candidates who represent the party across the country

AmVet

November 2nd, 2010
8:37 am

You The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which selects the laureate for the Peace Prize, gives yours nobel peace prizes.

That’s twice this morning already.

Does anybody care a whit about intellectual honesty any more?

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
8:39 am

Keep,

With all due respect, do you really think the Dems don’t do sneaky, crazy things to get elected? Is it really just the Republicans?

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.

The Republicans don’t have the nerve to cut these big ones, no matter who elected them, so the deficeit will continue.

The Tea Baggers will get into office, and find very quickly that simple solutions to complex problems sound good during campaigns, but don’t work in the real world.

I’ll be amused over the next two years watching the Republican tide go down the drain.

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
8:39 am

AmVet,

I was hoping to win me one of the peace prizes. I’ve done just as much as the past few winners. Now I know who to call. Thanks!

lovelyliz

November 2nd, 2010
8:41 am

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

That’s not a prediction. It’s a forgone conclusion, a fact

Kamchak's gerbil

November 2nd, 2010
8:42 am

Keep – do you EVER work?

Paul

November 2nd, 2010
8:45 am

“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”

There’s another consideration: spending increasing at over 6 percent (the link) while at the same time keeping all the programs with no reductions. That’s the element many choose to skip: maintaining all the programs, not cutting any of them. It’s anathema to Democrats. And, come January, to more than a couple of Republicans, I’ll wager.

“In fact, one-third of the stimulus was in the form of tax cuts.”

True, too. But it’s the rest of the spending…. Americans do not think they got good value for the vast debt incurred. It was a gamble, and the gambler lost.

“The health insurance law will reduce the deficit over ten years, not add to it, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.”

One more time…. sigh…. the CBO does not conduct independent cost analyses. They perform analyses //given the assumptions set by the requestor//. “Score the bill? With which assumptions? That there will be no growth in payments to health care providers for a decade? Got it. That the rate of supplies costs will be half the historical average? Got it. That revenues for three years will be counted and no outlays will be counted? Got it. Now lessee…. yes, I have the answer…. you bill saves money!!!!”

Always question the assumptions, not just the final answer.

“But continuing to depress revenues with a huge tax cut for rich Americans will certainly make the deficit larger. That’s a fact.”

And relying on the ‘rich’ – the top one or two percent – to fund our way out of this mess is also a factual fantasy. They don’t have enough. Spending must also be cut.

And that’s elementary school math, too.

Lady GayGay

November 2nd, 2010
8:46 am

That’s a fact, Jack. (editor’s correction of Cynthia’s hacking of my material)

Cynthia, you could also have written, “That’s for sure; that’s 4dang sure.” (but only if’n you be wantin’ to wins another Putzlisper Prize.

bwa

Bubba Bob

November 2nd, 2010
8:47 am

Paul,

Don’t use all those facts. You’ll confuse everyone on here!

Lady GayGay

November 2nd, 2010
8:47 am

All AMerica’s problems are the direct result of Cheney’s Iraq Invasion in which thousands if not millions of Iraqis were slaughtered to death and then blown to smitheens.

Keep up the good fight!

November 2nd, 2010
8:49 am

Bubba…. I dont think anything that the Reps/Dems have done in the past few years can match the repackaging of crazy that has taken place across the country and with so many candidates in so short of time. And if you were being honest, you would admit that from the witch, to the Nazi reenactor, to the fluroide conspiracist, and the others that the extreme is more the normal for the Republicans right now.

Paul

November 2nd, 2010
8:53 am

Follow-on question to Ms Tucker’s column: as I understand it, this surge of sentiment – represented by the TPers, is over fiscal irresponsibility, excess spending and the size of gov’t.

So the Dems get tossed, moderate Reps get tossed, and in comes the group who are either true believers or who play to the crowd.

Candidate Obama set high expectations and people felt he didn’t deliver. The voters appear to be taking it out on Dems as a whole – not just the ultralib wing. So in come some ultracons, who have also set some pretty high expectations.

They have their two years to show results. If they don’t deliver, who’re the voters gonna replace them with? Dems? Moderate Reps? Who?