In anticipation of the Republican attack on Bernie Sanders supposed budget busting plan to offer free health care and college education, let’s take a look at what they’re offering. Voxdotcom's headline nails it:
"We've lost sight of how wildly irresponsible the Republican tax plans are"
Here's a brief look:
Marco Rubio has promised tax cuts amounting to $6.8 trillion, Cruz $8.6 trillion, and Trump a whopping $9.5 trillion, according to the Tax Policy Center (and that's not including interest on the debt they would rack up!).By comparison, the budget disaster we saw coming a mile away with the Bush tax cuts...
The tax cuts George W. Bush proposed during the 2000 campaign were $1.32 trillion — which would be $1.82 trillion in today's dollars. And taxes were higher in 2000 than they are today, and the country was running surpluses rather than deficits.The misleading dopiness of a Balanced Budget Amendment: What should be a no brainer for even the most conservative tightwad, is anything but, because it sounds good:
It gets worse. Rubio and Cruz both support a Balanced Budget Amendment, so they can't just add their tax cuts to the national debt. They also support spending more on the military — up to $1 trillion for Rubio, about $2.4 trillion for Cruz.For example; even though Rubio's chances are slim, he's still in the race and has the backing of Scott Walker. Here's his exciting simple plan:
Marco Rubio announced that he'll pay for his tax cuts by doing something truly big: ending funding for Medicaid and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program — which 71 million Americans, or 22 percent of the country, rely on for health care. Impressive, right? The problem is that only gets Rubio about $4.7 trillion.Impossible? Yea. Cruz's out does Rubio's:
Rubio could find another trillion dollars by eliminating all education spending — Pell grants, the Department of Education, K-12 funds, school nutrition programs, Head Start, all of it. That gets him to roughly $5.7 trillion. Knocking out all justice spending could net another $561 billion. But there might be some political resistance to wiping out the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, much of the Department of Justice, all United States attorneys, the entire federal judiciary, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
And then to fulfill his balanced budget promise, he's got to get rid of the deficits that already exist and are projected to grow in the coming years.
Cruz is proposing a full $8.6 trillion in tax cuts. To get there, he could start with everything on Rubio's list and then end all federal transportation funding. Goodbye, Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, and Federal Highway Administration! And sorry, all you states relying on federal funds to build or rebuild your highways and ports! The problem is all that money only amounts to $935 billion. That gets Cruz to a cool $7.8 trillion, but his job isn't done yet.Remember, they're doing this so Republicans won't have to raise taxes on the wealthy. And Trump's sketchy idea?
The good news is that the $715 billion he could get from eliminating spending on veterans would pretty much close the gap. And who'll miss the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veteran Benefits Administration, the Veterans Health Administration, or the National Cemetery Administration? Of course, there is one small problem Cruz has also promised to increase military spending by $2.4 trillion. And he's also got Rubio's balanced-budget problem.
The projected US deficit for the next 10 years is $9.4 trillion. Passing Donald Trump’s $9.5 trillion tax cuts would more than double that total.None of this even take into consideration spending on natural disasters that Republicans insist must be made up with cuts elsewhere.
The federal government is expected to bring in about $21 trillion in individual income taxes over the next 10 years. Trump’s cuts amount to a 45 percent reduction from that projection … he's also promised to maintain funding for entitlements while increasing spending on the military. There's just no way to reconcile all that. Taken together, even the most sympathetic reading of Trump's plan dissolves into incoherence.