Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Which Candidate Will Keep His Campaign Promises AND Reduce the Deficit? Neither!

The next president will face many fiscal constraints. With a soaring debt, credit crisis, spending obligations from two wars, and a federal bailout of the financial sector, the introduction of new spending programs and tax cuts that both candidates promise would strain an already stressed budget. Amid the public debate over which party will better manage the economy, today's New York Times reports that many experts do not expect either candidate to fulfill his campaign promises without hurting the deficit.

Obama promises to maintain Bush's tax cuts for all Americans -- except for those making in excess of $250,000. He also plans to create a federally sponsored health care plan, turn the war against terrorism to Afghanistan, invest in alternative energy exploration, and other initiatives. McCain promises "no new taxes," and he wishes to create a governmental health plan, fight terrorism, and propose solutions to the energy crisis as well. Both of these plans deprive the government of revenue, by maintaining tax cuts; both also increase federal spending. This combination inevitably would raise deficit levels.

Obama has stated that the additional taxation of higher income earners can fund his programs, but many economists seriously doubt this. McCain's spending initiatives are less ambitious than Obama's, but his tax plan would generate less revenue. Although some experts believe that McCain's plans could have a greater negative impact on the deficit, they all agree that neither candidate's policy's -- if fulfilled -- would create a surplus. In other words, they are both attempting to deceive the public on this issue. They will either fail to spend as much money as they promise or will raise taxes -- or will do neither of these things and add to the soaring budget deficit and national debt. But these sober options do not win votes on the campaign trail.

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