I’m repeating a point from a previous post, but it is really worth repeating since we hear the opposite so often. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed
…more of the registered voters surveyed picked Romney as the candidate who would best deal with the federal government’s budget deficit, at 34 percent, to 29 percent for Obama.
The facts show that there is no reason to feel confident that a Romney administration would do better on the deficit than Obama. Why? Because, as I described in a previous post, every Republican administration in the past 30 years (Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II) saw the deficit increase as a percentage of GDP when they came into office. Clinton reduced the deficit to GDP ratio into a surplus. The deficit to GDP ratio ballooned in the past four years because of the economic downturn, the Iraq and Afghan wars, TARP money, Medicare Part D and the Obama stimulus. One could criticize Obama for the the stimulus, but the fact remains that 6 of 9 major studies support the conclusion that the stimulus had a positive effect on the economy, while only 2 say that it didn’t work at all. One could also criticize him for the Afghan surge (for more than just economic reasons), but he did share that war with Bush II. More specific to Romney, as Paul Krugman has pointed out, Romney plans to offset his tax cuts by closing tax loopholes, but has not specified how he will do that and experts on the subject have said it’s unrealistic to be able to make up the gap. Republicans have the image of being better on the debt because they say they don’t like it, while what they actually do shows they are happy to govern with higher deficits.
DEFICITS AS % OF GDP