Pat Toomey’s budget went down in the Senate, but it’s worth pointing out that it was even more nutty than Paul Ryan’s Medicare repeal plan. CBPP gave it a brutal review yesterday, so head over there for the gory details. The thing I think reporters have failed to get across is how much of a fraud this guy is. Toomey sure talks a lot about the deficit, but the man doesn’t have any credibility on the issue. Just look at the projections his plan is based on. It’s a bunch of goofy supply-sider mythology:
Achieves no actual deficit reduction from revenues. The plan assumes that its proposed “tax changes will be revenue neutral when scored statically…” compared to the revenues that the federal government would collect under current policies (that is, if all expiring tax cuts, including President Bush’s tax cuts that benefit high-income taxpayers, are made permanent). But Senator Toomey claims that eliminating loopholes, collapsing the current personal income tax rate structure into three brackets with lower rates, and cutting the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent “will generate strong economic growth, which will in turn yield surging tax revenues.” Based on this rosy economic scenario, which is more optimistic than the CBO projections that the Ryan plan employed, and on seemingly fanciful estimates of the taxes that the government will collect relative to the assumed size of the economy, the Toomey plan claims revenues will be $1.4 trillion higher over ten years than what the Ryan plan assumes with similar tax policies.
Senator Toomey mistakenly claims that the economic assumptions behind his budget are less optimistic than those of the Ryan plan. But, while Chairman Ryan asserts that his tax plan would boost economic growth, the revenues (and spending, deficits, and debt) shown in his plan are based on CBO’s baseline economic projections — not on the more optimistic economic path he believes would result from his plan’s enactment.
I’m not saying journalists have to be as mean as I am about it, but this is the sort of thing you can look up. Where’s Toomey getting that extra $1.4 trillion in revenue from? That would be a very good topic for a news story in which you talk to economists and figure out whether he’s right. Journalists have much more time to look up things like this than their readers do.