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Which Candidate is proposing more fiscal responsibility


Tulane Skins Fan

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I posted this in another thread and it was sorta out of place:

"Here is one article (and please don't tell me the Brookings Institute is liberally biased)... it cites Obama as running a 3.5 trillion deficit by 2018 and McCain a 5 trillion one.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf

If federal spending evolves as CBO predicts, the proposed tax cuts would add to those deficits and substantially increase the national debt. Senator Obama’s plan as described by his economic advisers would increase the ten-year cumulative deficit by about $3.6 trillion to $5.9 trillion; Senator McCain’s plan would boost it by $5.1 trillion to nearly $7.4 trillion. Adding to their plans proposals made in stump speeches but not confirmed by campaign advisors would lower the cumulative deficit over the decade slightly to $5.4 trillion for Obama and raise it to almost $11 trillion for McCain.

On page 5.

Both men are proposing deficits. Some would say McCain is proposing a deficit TWICE AS LARGE as Obama. But, he wants to lower taxes (honestly a total of 4 percentage points difference between the two), and so somehow that equates to fiscal responsibility."

The question I have is, if McCain is going to run a larger deficit, as much as twice as large, who is more fiscally responsible? Lower taxes are only one part of fiscal responsibility, are they not?

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If Republicans intended to implement a plan of fiscal responsibility they would have done so when they had complete control of the FED.

McCain's tax plan is purely idealogical and has little to do with pragmatism. And frankly it doesn't matter what he proposes. He's not going to win, and even if he did, his policies would not pass in the Democratic House or the Democratic Senate.

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With respect to this, McCain has two things in his advantage:

1. McCain said he will try and balance the budget, while Obama has said it isn't a priority for him.

2. McCain is promising to freeze some spending his first year.

In addition, remember, in terms of taxes, its really irrelevant. McCain isn't going to be able to keep the Bush tax cuts in place. Keeping them in place is going to require a congressional law. No chance, that's happening.

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With respect to this, McCain has two things in his advantage:

1. McCain said he will try and balance the budget, while Obama has said it isn't a priority for him.

2. McCain is promising to freeze the vast majority of spending his first year.

In addition, remember, in terms of taxes, its really irrelevant. McCain isn't going to be able to keep the Bush tax cuts in place. Keeping them in place is going to require a congressional law. No chance, that's happening.

Mccain never promised to freeze spending, he said it would be nice. Anyway, it would be stupid. Second, link me where Obama said balancing the budget was not a priority for him.

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Mccain never promised to freeze spending, he said it would be nice. Anyway, it would be stupid. Second, link me where Obama said balancing the budget was not a priority for him.

1. He didn't promise freezing all spending, but he has certainly promised some major freezes. Why would it be stupid?

http://www.johnmccain.com/Issues/JobsforAmerica/reform.htm

"Comprehensive Spending Controls: John McCain will institute broad reforms to control spending:

A one-year spending pause. Freeze non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending for a year and use those savings for deficit reduction."

I've seen this stated and said several places/times. It has always come across as a campaign promise to me. Whether he'd keep it or not is a different issue, but unlike with the Bush tax cut, he could in fact use a veto to enforce it.

2. Its biased, but its the first I found. There were other places where it was reported:

http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ap/article.html?mi=D91PU0J82&apc=9008

"Not only does Obama say he won't eliminate the deficit in his first term, as McCain aims to do, he frankly says he's not sure he'd bring it down at all in four years, considering his own spending plans.

"I do not make a promise that we can reduce it by 2013 because I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families," Obama told reporters this week when asked if he'd match McCain's pledge."

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With respect to this, McCain has two things in his advantage:

1. McCain said he will try and balance the budget, while Obama has said it isn't a priority for him.

McCain has flip flopped on that quite a bit. He originally said more than a year ago he would balance the budget within his first term in office. Then he backed away from that and claimed by the end of his second term. Now he's back to his first term again. Problem being we are running a 500 billion dollar deficite and McCain's introduced New very costly spending without cutting anything but the military.

Obama at least can name a few items to cut. Iraq War alone will save us 12 billion a month... Also Obama actually is going to raise folks taxes at the top 5% to bring them back in line with what folks were paying when Ronald Reagan was in office.

Either way I don't see anybody responsible balancing the budget in four years, not with the nation in an economic down turn.

2. McCain is promising to freeze some spending his first year.

The Hatchet?

In addition, remember, in terms of taxes, its really irrelevant. McCain isn't going to be able to keep the Bush tax cuts in place. Keeping them in place is going to require a congressional law. No chance, that's happening.

They were always irresponsible.

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The Hatchet?

Hatchets were invented and used for a reason. Sometimes they are needed. If Obama doesn't think a hatchet is the appropriate tool for the job, it would be nice if he'd actually explain why it isn't.

As near as I can tell, his scaple thing has turned into a nice sound bite and nothing else.

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I don't disagree but I also don't see how McCain has provided anything more substantive. The freeze is also a soundbite, nothing more. And like you said, his tax proposal isn't even a possibility.

By its very nature, McCain's "proposal" of freezing spending is more substantive.

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With respect to this, McCain has two things in his advantage:

1. McCain said he will try and balance the budget, while Obama has said it isn't a priority for him.

2. McCain is promising to freeze some spending his first year.

In addition, remember, in terms of taxes, its really irrelevant. McCain isn't going to be able to keep the Bush tax cuts in place. Keeping them in place is going to require a congressional law. No chance, that's happening.

In counter-point, Obama has said multiple times, that given the current state of the economy, he may not be able to implement all of his goals. He has said repeatedly that he may have to suspend some of his spending proposals.

Also, regardless of what McCain says he wants to do, i.e. balance the budget, a non-partisan group has found that his plan does no such thing. When actually looking at what the outcomes of the plans will be, Obama seems to be much closer to a balanced budget by unbiased sources. No?

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In counter-point, Obama has said multiple times, that given the current state of the economy, he may not be able to implement all of his goals. He has said repeatedly that he may have to suspend some of his spending proposals.

Also, regardless of what McCain says he wants to do, i.e. balance the budget, a non-partisan group has found that his plan does no such thing. When actually looking at what the outcomes of the plans will be, Obama seems to be much closer to a balanced budget by unbiased sources. No?

Well, it would seem to be a matter of priorities. Let's say 2 years in, person A looks at the budget and says, 'well, we are not getting closer to a balanced budget, and it is one of my priorties so maybe we need to adjust some things to start to bring it down.' Person B looks at the same situation, and says, 'Well, balancing the budget was never one of my priorities and so I'm not going to worry about it.'

Do you know, did the analysis include Obama eliminating the Bush tax cuts?

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I'd also base the arguement on simple history. I know less about Obama, but I've essentially never heard him talk about the importance of balancing the budget or eliminating the debt.

McCain has a long history of addressing the issue. It was one of the major differences between him and Bush in the primary. Bush wanted his tax cuts. McCain wanted a smaller tax cut and more of the surplus to go towards paying down the debt.

If you add up the plans I'm not going to argue that Obama's plans don't result in less debt, but both of them are going to have to cut things. Things always get promised that don't happen, and it will be especially true this time.

When they have to start cutting, I think based on what they've said in this campaign and history, it is more likely that McCain will cut with an idea of at least trying to keep the debt under control.

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By its very nature, McCain's "proposal" of freezing spending is more substantive.

I think you are measuring in terms of cost cutting and I am measuring in terms of details to the plan. Saying the word freeze is not a detailed plan any more than saying the word scalpel is IMO. If you want to say McCain's fantasy saves more $$$ than Obama's fantasy, I don't have any beef with that. But that doesn't make it a good idea. Until they come forward with a detailed plan, I'll consider it a soundbite.

But I also don't buy into the notion that the Federal Government is totally worthless so it begs the questions: what specifically is McCain going to freeze and what specifically is Obama going to scalpel?

Is McCain going to stop paying all of the airport traffic controllers? Good luck with that. Is he going to stop infrastructure planning altogether? That doesn't strike me as a good move either knowing the dismal conditions to some of our bridges etc. What about suspending support contractors like finance people that support every agency. We could cut all those people but then again we might get royally ripped off as a result.

Same goes for Obama. Which programs will he slice out? How much will that save? How is he going to choose which programs are worthy?

I just do't see these soundbites as any more substantive than that Chris Rock movie where all the politicians ever said was "hope" and "backbone."

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I think you are measuring in terms of cost cutting and I am measuring in terms of details to the plan. Saying the word freeze is not a detailed plan any more than saying the word scalpel is IMO. If you want to say McCain's fantasy saves more $$$ than Obama's fantasy, I don't have any beef with that. But that doesn't make it a good idea. Until they come forward with a detailed plan, I'll consider it a soundbite.

But I also don't buy into the notion that the Federal Government is totally worthless so it begs the questions: what specifically is McCain going to freeze and what specifically is Obama going to scalpel?

Is McCain going to stop paying all of the airport traffic controllers? Good luck with that. Is he going to stop infrastructure planning altogether? That doesn't strike me as a good move either knowing the dismal conditions to some of our bridges etc. What about suspending support contractors like finance people that support every agency. We could cut all those people but then again we might get royally ripped off as a result.

Same goes for Obama. Which programs will he slice out? How much will that save? How is he going to choose which programs are worthy?

I just do't see these soundbites as any more substantive than that Chris Rock movie where all the politicians ever said was "hope" and "backbone."

He's not going to stop paying airport traffic controllers. There won't be any raises (or at least any raises will be somehow balanced by losses elswhere). He's not going to stop infrastrcuture planning, but there won't be any increases in it.

Note, this is for one year.

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Obama is more infinitely more fiscally responsible.

Have you seen what the Republicans did when they had total and full control? McCain sided with them fiscally almost every time. His hand-picked economic advisors are the guys who got us into this mess and he thinks five million dollars is the middle class. Come on people! More, every third party analysis says that Obama's economic plan is saner and better.

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Well, it would seem to be a matter of priorities. Let's say 2 years in, person A looks at the budget and says, 'well, we are not getting closer to a balanced budget, and it is one of my priorties so maybe we need to adjust some things to start to bring it down.' Person B looks at the same situation, and says, 'Well, balancing the budget was never one of my priorities and so I'm not going to worry about it.'

Do you know, did the analysis include Obama eliminating the Bush tax cuts?

I believe it did. I scanned and skimmed it, but did not review it totally.

For the record, I have not heard Obama say anywhere that he has reservations about eliminating the Bush Tax Cuts. I think he has said he would not be able to spend as much, but I believe his tax plan, or as close as Congressionally possible, will be implemented, and I have no reason to think it won't be.

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I'd also base the arguement on simple history. I know less about Obama, but I've essentially never heard him talk about the importance of balancing the budget or eliminating the debt.

McCain has a long history of addressing the issue. It was one of the major differences between him and Bush in the primary. Bush wanted his tax cuts. McCain wanted a smaller tax cut and more of the surplus to go towards paying down the debt.

If you add up the plans I'm not going to argue that Obama's plans don't result in less debt, but both of them are going to have to cut things. Things always get promised that don't happen, and it will be especially true this time.

When they have to start cutting, I think based on what they've said in this campaign and history, it is more likely that McCain will cut with an idea of at least trying to keep the debt under control.

I guess what I'm trying to point out is that McCain can talk about cutting all he wants, he won't come close to balancing the budget. Unless he wants to talk about cutting military funding drastically, or something else that will be very large (and honestly will not get through a democratic Congress) his plan will result in much larger debt... as planned.

Would you disagree that the government for the last 8 years has been fiscally irresponsible despite low tax rates?

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now that I'm home, I can post on this.

McCain says he wants to freeze all discressionary funding at current levels. Good luck! Last I checked, Commerce is usually counted as discressionary (ie. non military funding). In years that end in 0, there is this little thing called a Decennial Census mandated by the Constitution. Good luck conducting that on the same amount of funding as the year before.

Some promises are made to be broken. By its absolute nature "freeze all," was a promise made to be broken or made by somebody who doesn't look at budgets. Funny thing to me is McCain has been around long enough that, and I would think he would know better. Commerce isn't the only descessionary funding that can't remain at a static level. One can hold at inflation protected levels at the macro level...if you're really lucky and willing to make hard choices.

Just put me in the I'll believe it when I see it group.

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now that I'm home, I can post on this.

McCain says he wants to freeze all discressionary funding at current levels. Good luck! Last I checked, Commerce is usually counted as discressionary (ie. non military funding). In years that end in 0, there is this little thing called a Decennial Census mandated by the Constitution. Good luck conducting that on the same amount of funding as the year before.

Some promises are made to be broken. By its absolute nature "freeze all," was a promise made to be broken or made by somebody who doesn't look at budgets. Funny thing to me is McCain has been around long enough that, and I would think he would know better. Commerce isn't the only descessionary funding that can't remain at a static level. One can hold at inflation protected levels at the macro level...if you're really lucky and willing to make hard choices.

Just put me in the I'll believe it when I see it group.

If its Constitutionally mandated, I think it could be argued that it isn't discretionary.

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I guess what I'm trying to point out is that McCain can talk about cutting all he wants, he won't come close to balancing the budget. Unless he wants to talk about cutting military funding drastically, or something else that will be very large (and honestly will not get through a democratic Congress) his plan will result in much larger debt... as planned.

Would you disagree that the government for the last 8 years has been fiscally irresponsible despite low tax rates?

1. Like I said, it doesn't matter. His tax plan is DOA with a Democratic congress.

2. Nobody is going to balance the budget w/o some growth in the economy. To me, the McCain plain is more similar (especially if you take the tax cuts out, which is going to happen) to the Clinton plan, which gave us our last balanced budgets (which were really caused by economic growth).

3. Combine 1 and 2 together, and I think that's a good arguement that pracitcally McCain is more likely to result in a balanced budget than Obama.

4. Beyond all of the campaign rhetoric, if you ask me, who is more likely to try and lower the debt, the answer is McCain because at least it is something he has said he wanted to do and therefore something he has some afinity to try and acomplish before the next election. In addition, history says it is an issue that he considers to be some importance.

Nobody things that current spending (taking everything else into account (e.g. taxes and economic growth) is responsible.

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