Thursday, November 12, 2015

Editorial Board Excoriates "Reckless" GOP Tax Plans

The USA Today editorial board denounced Republican candidates' "reckless" tax plans and "iffy economics" that would cost trillions of dollars, "wreck budgets," and reverse the current trend of a shrinking deficit.

The tax plans proposed by many of the Republican presidential candidates have been scrutinized for the negative effects they would have on the national debt and overall economic growth. Although some media outlets have mischaracterized Republican tax proposals as "populist," they in fact disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans. 

In a November 11 editorial, USA Today's editorial board lambasted the GOP tax plans and highlighted the disconnect between the idea of Republicans as "the party of fiscal responsibility" and the reality that some of their tax plans would reduce the federal revenue by trillions of dollars. The editorial explained how "[s]tudies and real-world experiments" reveal that the tax-cuts Republicans champion "don't reliably spur growth, but they surely wreck budgets." Moreover, the board noted that Republican "proposals would reverse" the trend of a falling federal deficit under President Obama. From the editorial:

If Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility, as opposed to those big-spending Democrats, you wouldn't know it from the GOP candidates' reckless tax-cut proposals. Donald Trump's plan would reduce federal revenue by a staggering $10 trillion over 10 years, Marco Rubio's by $2.4 trillion and Jeb Bush's by $1.6 trillion, according to analyses by the non-partisan Tax Foundation.

One of the scariest moments in Tuesday's GOP presidential debate came when Ted Cruz suggested his proposal was more responsible because it would cost only about three-quarters of a trillion dollars over 10 years.

Even worse, these numbers depend on the economic growth the candidates claim their plans will create. Studies and real-world experiments show that big tax cuts don't reliably spur growth, but they surely wreck budgets.

Candidates always claim they'll offset revenue losses with spending cuts, yet that promise rarely gets fully detailed, much less fulfilled.

Ironically, the candidates are proposing these plans when the federal deficit is falling, a trend their proposals would reverse. 

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