We know you feel compelled to talk the talk, but please Sen. Kerry, when elected, walk the walk -- the deficit
Then early last week, Mr. Kerry's campaign boasted that he would offer "more than twice as much in new tax cuts" as the president and still follow through on his promise of a $653 billion health care plan.
The campaign trumpeted its proposal for "more than $400 billion of new tax cuts" in a news release that declared "these tax cuts are fully paid for without increasing the deficit by one dime," before going on to list a variety of tax breaks for college tuition costs, health care and investment in new technology.
While Mr. Kerry carefully listed ways he would pay for the new tax cuts, totaling $419 billion over 10 years, he has also called for permanently extending Mr. Bush's tax cuts for middle-income families. Because those tax cuts are set to expire under current law, making them permanent would cost the Treasury about $425 billion over 10 years.
Budget analysts see striking similarities in the ways Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush have glossed over major omissions in their goals to reduce the deficit.
In a tacit admission that the numbers are hard to reconcile, Mr. Kerry's supporters argue that the crucial issue is not so much the numbers as the commitment of the candidate to reduce the deficit.
"It is imperative that the next president has an internalized sense of how important this is," said Robert E. Rubin, who was Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and is an informal Kerry adviser. "The only way you are going to deal with it is if you have a very committed president."
8-15-04 N.Y. Times.