Metropolitik: Running for president with scissors

Can anyone actually cut the deficit?

Sixty-nine percent of Americans consider balancing the budget a top priority, according to January’s Pew poll, citing a figure that has risen steadily from 53 percent in 2007. For the first time, the budget is now on par with terrorism and trumped only by the economy and jobs in importance to Americans.
And who do Americans trust most to handle these highest of political priorities? Republicans have long dominated Democrats in perceived trustworthiness on national security, while both parties have been in a virtual tie for the last year when it comes to the economy, jobs and balancing the budget.

Republicans, however, have begun pulling ahead of Democrats in trustworthiness on the budget, according to a new AP-GfK poll released Thursday. While President Obama and the Republican primary candidates have both promised to balance the budget, Americans seem to find those promises easier to believe when they’re made by Republicans.

But Americans’ trust in Republicans is misplaced. According to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget comparing the various fiscal proposals of the Republican primary candidates, only Ron Paul has proposed policies that would reduce projected U.S. debt over 10 years, by 9 percent of GDP. Under Newt Gingrich’s plan, debt would actually increase by a whopping 30 percent of GDP, while Rick Santorum would increase the debt by 20 percent of GDP. Mitt Romney’s plan would increase debt by only 1 percent, but remember — the candidates have promised to drastically cut the debt, not merely to increase it by less.

What about President Obama? According to CRFB’s analysis of his newly-released 2013 budget, the President’s plan also reduces the debt by 9 percent of GDP — the same as Ron Paul. That’s right — the President and Ron Paul are the only two candidates whose policies have any positive balancing effect on the budget at all. At best, Romney’s plan merely maintains the status quo, while Gingrich and Santorum make things significantly worse. 

So, to the 69 percent of Americans who care deeply about balancing the budget — don’t be so trusting. Candidates love to run with scissors, but few are willing to put them to good use.

Follow Michael J Frosch on Twitter @michaeljfrosch and @metropolitik

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.