Republicans continue to claim that they will reduce government spending. For example, when asked how they will pay for extending the Bush tax cuts, they claim they will do it by cutting government spending. There’s one big problem with this. In order to cut government spending, you are going to have to cut at least some government programs that people like.
For example, Carly Fiorina appeared on Fox News Sunday, but even they wouldn’t let her get away with her claim that she would “rein in out-of-control government spending.” Fiorina supports extending the Bush Tax cuts, but when asked how she would pay for the $4 trillion price tag, she couldn’t answer. Host Chris Wallace asked her seven times to “name one single entitlement expenditure you’re willing to cut” because “that’s where the money is.” Fiorina refused to answer, claiming “You’re asking a typical political question.”
Well, what other kind of question can you ask when someone claims they are going to cut taxes and balance the budget, but won’t name a single large program they will cut? Isn’t that political?
But I don’t mean to pick only on Fiorina. I can’t think of a single national Republican candidate who has actually said what they will cut to balance the budget and pay for tax cuts.
The few times I have heard any Republican candidate mention any spending cuts they would actually propose to reduce the deficit, they end up backpedaling furiously. For example, in 2009 Rand Paul proposed raising the Medicare deductible to $2,000, but when his opponent accused Paul of this, Paul denied he ever said it. When his opponent produced video proof, Paul then claimed he didn’t mean it.
Besides, look at the evidence. No Republican administration has managed to cut the deficit in the last 50 years. How come we still listen to this hallow promise?
UPDATE: The Republican Medicare Part D prescription drug program will add more to the national debt than the bailout, stimulus, and the health care law combined.