Candidate Spending Plans Still Do Not Add Up

While the specifics may vary from election to election and party to party, there is one thing which remains constant–the spending plans of the candidates do not add up. Politicians will promise more than expected tax revenues will pay for and predictions of balancing the budget are inevitably overly optimistic. Republican promises of tax cuts are often even more unrealistic than Democratic promises of new programs. There’s a pair of articles showing this today, with a conservative paper questioning Obama’s proposals and a liberal newspaper questioning McCain’s.

The Los Angles Times writes, “Some budget analysts say the Democrat’s proposals for funding tens of billions of dollars in programs may not be enough.” The New York Times writes, “The package of spending and tax cuts proposed by Senator John McCain is unlikely to achieve his goal of balancing the federal budget by 2013, economists and fiscal experts said Monday.”

This is hardly news. While none of the candidate’s campaign promises have added up, McCain’s would do the most to increase the deficit. I noted back in April that The New York Times also found that “Mr. McCain’s plan would appear to result in the biggest jump in the deficit.” Similarly I noted that The Washington Post found “While both Democratic candidates would spend far more on new programs than Mr. McCain would, the Republican’s proposals for new tax cuts dwarf the Democrats’ plans.”

Fiscal irresponsibility is a problem for all political candidates as a political campaign leads them to promise more than they can deliver. At least the numbers are less unrealistic for Obama than McCain.

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