Wednesday, July 09, 2008

McCain and Obama on Budgets

Brad DeLong calls John McCain's Budget Policy: Government by the Underpants Gnomes! making a reference to South Park. "You all remember the plan of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park:"

1. Collect underpants.
2. ?
3. Profit!

That's the perfect analogy for John McCain's budget policy:

1. Cut taxes and spend more on the military.
2. ?
3. Balanced budget!!

He goes on to point out many of the proposals he's presented that will make the deficit worse.

The LA TImes tries Adding up the cost of Obama's agenda. "The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center examined Obama's plans to eliminate tax loopholes and said it could not confirm the projected savings. "If you look at official revenue estimates, the numbers come out to be less than half of what they say they're going to raise," said Len Burman, director of the center and a former Treasury official in the Clinton administration, referring to Obama's campaign staff."

Kevin Drum comments on that article saying "It's really not normal for a candidate's budget numbers to be even in the near ballpark of making sense, but by the Times' own reckoning (chart here) Obama is proposing $130 billion in new spending if every single one of his priorities is signed into law, and probably two-thirds of that is credibly accounted for by rolling back some of the Bush tax cuts, withdrawing from Iraq, auctioning emission credits, and a few other things. So even in the unlikely event that Obama gets every single thing he wants, he'd only be adding a net of $30-40 billion to the federal budget. So, sure, that means it doesn't add up. But when was the last time we had a presidential candidate who came even that close? Hell, I think McCain's plan, if you put a number to it, would fail to add up by about ten times that amount. Obama's is the most restrained, least pandering budget plan we've seen in a presidential campaign for a very long time."

1 comment:

Seth said...

Underlying McCain's plan is the binky of the supply-side devotees, that cutting taxes increases revenue. It doesn't.