Romney-Santorum Debt-Control Plans Trail Obama: BGOV Barometer
Apr 2, 2012 5:00 AM GMT
For all the concern expressed by
Republicans about the growth of the national debt under
President Barack Obama, his 2013 budget envisions less borrowing
than plans from his top rivals, former Massachusetts Governor
Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
The BGOV Barometer shows Obama’s 2013 budget calls for
boosting debt held by the public to 77 percent of U.S. gross
domestic product by 2021 from a projected 74 percent in 2012.
That compares with an increase to 86 percent of GDP for Romney
and 104 percent for Santorum, according to an analysis by the
nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
U.S. marketable debt soared to $10.2 trillion in February
from $4.4 trillion at the start of the financial crisis in July
2007. Yields on U.S. Treasuries have fallen during the crisis
and subsequent recession, reaching record lows even after the
U.S. credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s in August.
“My only hope is in the process of campaigning that we can
get lawmakers and the president all leaning in one direction to
reduce the budget deficit,” said Robert Tipp, chief investment
strategist in Newark, New Jersey, at Prudential Financial Inc.’s
fixed income division, which oversees $335 billion.
Projected U.S. debt would rise under Romney and Santorum
because their budget proposals reduce the amount of tax revenue
by a greater amount than they cut spending, the CRFB study
found. Obama’s budget leaves the nation’s debt in 10 years
smaller than Romney’s by $246 billion and by $4.68 trillion
versus Santorum’s, according to the committee’s projections.
The CRFB compares Romney’s and Santorum’s budgets with what
it calls a “realistic baseline” that would result in debt of
85 percent of GDP in 10 years. The baseline assumes the
extension of current policies including tax cuts enacted under
President George W. Bush that Obama wants to end for families
earning $250,000 or more.
The Republican-led House of Representatives last week
adopted a budget resolution that envisions limiting federal debt
by cutting government’s share of the economy to a level not seen
since 1951, before Medicare, Medicaid, the Environmental
Protection Agency and the space program. The budget plan,
championed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a
Wisconsin Republican, is forecast to die in the Democratic-
Ryan, whose home state of Wisconsin holds its presidential
primary tomorrow, endorsed Romney for the Republican nomination
last week and urged conservatives to “coalesce” around the
former Massachusetts governor.
“We need a plan that puts the deficit on a downward
path,” said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director with the
CRFB. “This needs to be the No. 1 issue in the presidential
campaign, and the No. 1 issue that Americans are thinking about,
at least domestically,” said Goldwein, a registered independent
who worked on the nonpartisan staff of the budget supercommittee
created as part of the debt-ceiling extension signed in August
To contact the reporter on this story:
Daniel Kruger in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Dave Liedtka at
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