Today, Republicans released their alternative budget plan, this time with more detail and numbers. The challenge with judging it relative to the Obama budget is that the Congressional Budget Office has not evaluated it, and thus we cannot make an apples to apples comparison. The Obama budget looks much worse if you’re considering CBO projections than it does if you trust the estimates of the White House Office of Management and Budget. So, if you compare the Republican estimates to CBO projections of Obama’s plan, the Democrats can argue that the GOP is using rosy assumptions about its own budget and that the CBO is being too pessimistic about Obama’s budget. If, however, you compare it to Obama’s budget, Republicans can argue that the White House is relying on rosy assumptions about its own budget. There’s also the matter of the CBO baseline numbers, which project the budget based on what it would be like if we were simply to follow current laws. In order to try and sort through this mess, I created the two graphs below, which measure the growth of public debt both in dollar terms and as a percentage of GDP.
Under the GOP plan, the public debt in 2019 would be $3.6 trillion lower than under the Obama budget if you’re looking at CBO figures and $1.7 trillion lower if you believe the White House. However, the GOP proposal still manages to increase the debt by $1.9 trillion more than it would increase by if we were simply to follow current laws.
So, it shouldn’t surprise readers of this blog to know that while I think the GOP alternative would be preferable to the Obama plan, I don’t think it goes far enough in terms of really attacking runaway spending. In fact, if Republicans could actually get their way, we’d still be looking at the debt exploding from the $5.8 trillion it was in 2008 to $13.7 trillion by 2019, or from 40.8 percent of GDP to 65.1 percent. For American taxpayers, it really is choosing between Scylla and Charybdis.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.