One of several interesting moments in Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate was when all eight candidates were asked if they would accept a budget deal that included $10 of spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes.
All eight of them said their answer was “no.”
What's the right balance between spending cuts and tax hikes?
Total Voters: 305
Now, I have a hard time believing all eight of those candidates would really veto such a budget if they were actually sitting in the White House. The question itself, with such a lopsided and unrealistic ratio, seemed designed to lull one or more candidates into thinking they were merely being reasonable by conceding 10:1 — only to see that everyone else knew the real question was, “Do you want to be branded a tax raiser in a Republican primary?” None took the bait.
After all, while I would guess that even most Republicans would see 10:1 as a rout by the spending cutters, there are bound to be others who would say, If you could get ‘em to 10:1, you could surely get ‘em to all cuts, no taxes.
But it does re-raise an important question: What ratio of cuts to increases would be acceptable to most Americans? That’s this week’s Poll Position. Answer in the poll and in the comments thread.
– By Kyle Wingfield