Republicans Pledge To Blow Up The Deficit

September 24, 2010 10:08 am ET — Chris Harris

Since President Obama was sworn into office, Republicans have attempted to compensate for their lack of solutions by feigning anger about the budget deficit.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), for example, uses the issue to stress the importance of his draconian "Roadmap for America's Future" plan to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.

In the book Young Guns, Ryan writes:

Thanks to this administration's spending, our debt as a percentage of our economy is projected to exceed 60 percent in 2010, the highest in over a half a century. By the end of the next decade, debt will consume 90 percent — 90 percent! — of our GDP. The irony is that, while those advocating an expanded entitlement state would like to make America more like Europe, the levels of debt created by their policies are too high for us to join the European Union.

America is on a dangerous downward path, but it's not too late to get back on the upward road to security and solid growth. We have a handful of years to save our children and grandchildren from a life of economic decline and insecurity. [Young Guns, p 122]

Ryan's lack of sincerity (or blatant hypocrisy) is laughable.  Just yesterday, he made the rounds on cable television to promote the GOP's "Pledge to America." Rather than aggressively fight to reduce the deficit, the "Pledge" makes it much, much worse. 

In the above passage from Young Guns, Ryan fiercely attacks President Obama for heading down a "dangerous downward path" by allowing debt to reach "90 percent!" of GDP.  Yet the Ryan-endorsed "Pledge" would exacerbate the problem.

According to analysis by the Center for American Progress, the "Pledge" would result in deficits that are $1.3 trillion higher than the president's budget, with debt exceeding 93 percent — 93 percent! — of our GDP.

As CAP writes:

The "Pledge to America" budget would mean $11.1 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years. By 2020, the federal budget deficit would be 6.3 percent of gross domestic product, the federal debt would exceed 93 percent of GDP, and interest payments on the debt would be more than $1 trillion a year. The budget deficit would be about $200 billion larger in 2020 under the "Pledge to America" plan than it would be under President Barack Obama's budget, and over the next 10 years deficits would be $1.5 trillion higher than under the president's budget.

While Republicans huff and puff about the deficit, their plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would cost $700 billion!  Rather than adding $700 billion to our national debt by giving tax breaks to people who don't need them, Congress should do more to create jobs, protect Social Security and Medicare, and start paying down the deficit.

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