By 2013 Barack Obama would outspend John McCain by at least $27 billion and as much as $119 billion, according to a new analysis of their tax and spending proposals.
McCain would cut taxes more than Obama, but would make deeper spending cuts, too, leaving him less in the red, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, headed by a former top Clinton administration official and former Republican congressman.
The projected deficit for 2013 is already $147 billion, so both men would leave the country in poor fiscal shape.
The most surprising thing about the analysis is how close the candidates’ proposals are by 2013: McCain’s gradual reduction of troops in Iraq ends up saving nearly as much as Obama’s faster pullout, and Obama’s increased taxes on high-income families only saves $48 billion that year.
Broken down by broad category, the group said McCain’s tax cuts — including renewing most of the Bush tax cuts — would subtract between $417 billion and $485 billion from government revenues, his health care plan would subtract another $54 billion to $65 billion, but his other spending cuts and proposals figure to save $291 billion to $304 billion. Coupled with the $147 billion baseline deficit, he would leave the country between $314 and $406 in the red.
Obama, meanwhile, who has also promised to renew many Bush tax cuts, would subtract $360 billion in revenue, would cost another $65 billion for his health care plan, and would save just $139 billion with his new spending cuts. His plans would leave the country with a deficit of $433 billion in 2013.
— Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times