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What does it say about a Party when their policy on their signature issue is based on lies and distortions? The Tea Party claims to be the party that will bring Fiscal Discipline back to Washington, but they refuse to give any details on how they will do it. If you look at their webpages you will see a lot of misleading claims about how reckless Democratic Spending is creating a huge deficit. These are all untrue, the vast majority of the debt is due to the recession and decisions made during the Bush Administration.

But as misleading as that is, their plans to balance the budget are even worse. They have lots of gimmicks like a Balanced Budget Amendment, but no specifics on what they would cut.  

There is a reason for that. They are absolutely opposed to any tax cuts, but it is almost impossible to balance the budget through spending cuts alone without creating serious pain and suffering.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together a calculator to look at various budget option to stabilize the debt. Extending all the Bush Tax Cuts will add $3.280 Trillion to the deficit by 2018 (note the different time frame than the CBO numbers). I compiled most of the spending cut options on their website. All together they add up to $3.2 Trillion and would almost offset that cost (more details on each cut are at their website). As you can see these cuts would be devastating. Tea Party members are under the delusion, that cuts will be painless and tax cuts are free, changing that is a key to regaining some sanity in the debate.

Reduce troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 30,000 by 2013–740 Billion
Enact Proposed Weapons System Cuts– 30 Billion
Cut Foreign economic aid in half– 110 Billion
Reduce Veteran’s Income Security Benefits– 50 Billion
Cancel Missile Defense– 50 Billion
Reduce spending on Ship Building– 50 Billion
Reverse Grow the Army Initiative– 90 Billion
Cancel Unspent Stimulus funds including tax cuts– 190 Billion
Decrease Highway Funding 25%– 200 Billion
Freeze Average Unemployment Benefits– 50 Billion
Cut Temporary Assistance to the Needy– 50 Billion
Cut Federal Funding of K-12 Education by 25%– 60 Billion
Eliminate the New Markets Tax Credit– 40 Billion
Cut School Breakfast Program– 30 Billion
Raise the Social Security Retirement Age to 68– 110 Billion
Reduce Scheduled SS Benefits– 100 Billion
Reduce Spousal Benefits from 50% to 33%– 20 Billion
Increase Cost Sharing for Medicare– 100 Billion
Raise Medicare Premiums to 35% of Costs– 140 Billion
Enact Medical Malpractice Reform– 50 Billion
Increase the Medicare Retirement Age to 67– 80 Billion
Replace Medicare with Vouchers that will grow at a slower rate– 120 Billion
Eliminate outdated Programs– 40 Billion
Freeze Federal Civilian Pay for 2 years– 50 Billion
Reduce Generosity of Tricare for military and veterans– 50 Billion
Reform Federal Retirement Benefits– 30 Billion
Cancel NASA missions to the Moon and Mars– 40 Billion
Reduce Farm Subsidies– 80 Billion
Cut all earmarks and use half for deficit reductions– 80 Billion
Increase user fees– 40 Billion
Sell government assets –70 Billion
Increase gas tax 10 Cents per Gallon– 80 Billion
Eliminate Subsidies for Biofuels– 110 Billion
Cut the Earned income tax Credit– 70 Billion

TOTAL SAVINGS $3.2 Trillion, $80 BILLION LESS THAN TAX CUTS

Update: I should have added that this is just to break even if the tax cuts are made permanent, additional spending cuts are necessary to try to balance the budget

Originally posted to aprichard on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 12:01 PM PDT.

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