President Obama and Romney/Ryan on Deficits

A few weeks ago, with the announcement of Rep. Paul Ryan as Gov. Romney’s running mate, we wrote about how the two presidential candidates represent starkly different visions for this country in the years to come. One issue we didn’t cover in detail is the candidates’ projected budget deficits.

Since immediate deficit reduction would bring setbacks for our already fragile economy, it makes sense to look at the candidates’ projected deficits several years down the road. Gov. Romney hasn’t put forth a comprehensive budget proposal, but he’s voiced strong support for Rep. Ryan’s budget; as chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Ryan is required by law to put out a budget proposal each year.


Budget Chairman Paul Ryan

Rep. Ryan during budget talks earlier this year

Gov. Romney’s plans adhere closely to the vision set out in the Ryan budget, so we compare President Obama’s projections to those of Rep. Ryan:

In 10 years from now, in 2022, President Obama projects a deficit of $704 billion. The president’s budget finds way so to reduce waste in federal spending in order to save money, while avoiding deep cuts to most domestic programs. After a 2.5 percent cut to the Pentagon in fiscal 2013, the president would expand military funding in subsequent years. The president proposes allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, while extending the tax cuts for everyone else. Click here for more on the president’s budget.

In 10 years from now, in 2022, Rep. Ryan’s budget projects a deficit of $287 billion. He would make deep cuts to all types of domestic programs, ranging from education to food safety to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He would add funding for the military. At the same time, he would sharply reduce tax revenue with a proposal that would cut tax rates below Bush-era levels, resulting in large tax breaks for top earners. Click here for more on Rep. Ryan’s budget.