December 7, 2015
By Paula Dwyer
In past presidential elections, candidates hoped to convince voters of their fiscal rectitude. This time, though, fiscal responsibility is out. Tax giveaways are in.
This puts Hillary Clinton in a straitjacket. She has proposed about $1 trillion in new government spending -- much of it through the tax code. But unlike the Republican candidates, she doesn't claim that tax breaks lead to higher growth and thus pay for themselves. So she's under pressure to show how she'd pay for all the tax credits she is proposing.
Not only are the Republican candidates offering more generous tax breaks on everything from estates to investment returns. They aren’t even pretending to honor the concept of budget neutrality -- that is, they haven’t identified spending reductions or tax increases elsewhere to offset all the tax cuts they are proposing.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank, has an infographic showing that the seven GOP candidates with tax-cut plans, using conventional scoring, would add a total of $42 trillion to federal deficits over 10 years.