Kelly Ayotte: Deficit Is "The Biggest Threat," So Let's Increase It!

August 19, 2010 1:43 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Kelly Ayotte

Kelly Ayotte, the former attorney general of New Hampshire, is the GOP favorite to challenge Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) for the Senate in November.  After receiving Sarah Palin's endorsement last month, Ayotte gained notoriety when she voiced support for changing the Fourteenth Amendment to end birthright citizenship. 

In a new interview with the Foster's Daily Democrat, Ayotte displayed the conservative chops that earned her Palin's "mama grizzly" stamp of approval.  Ayotte told the paper that the deficit is "the biggest threat to our country" right now.  However, her ideas for addressing the problem and boosting the economy would only make matters worse:     

One way Ayotte wants to cut the deficit is repeal the $900 billion health care reform bill. She noted many components don't kick in until after the presidential election in 2012.

"That's why it's important to keep the repeal effort alive," she said. "What we owe is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It's an American issue." [...]

She would also like to see taxes on capital gains and personal income rolled back. She said she is willing to work behind the scenes to achieve those goals.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years (and up to $1.3 trillion by 2029).  So repealing it, obviously, isn't such a great way to fix the problem.  Meanwhile, new tax cuts would only add the budget shortfall.   

Despite their fear-mongering about the deficit, Palin and other GOP leaders have been fighting to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, even though doing so would significantly increase the deficit.  Asked recently how she is different from the rest of the GOP, Ayotte replied, "Nothing comes to mind."