Voters are likely to see some budget proposals from presidential candidates in the coming year that might seem more appropriate for Disney’s Fantasyland than the Oval Office.
Chase Hagaman offers that warning in a recent guest column for the Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire). The problems would include spending increases and tax cuts that magically pay for themselves, without adding to the rising national debt.
Hagaman is New Hampshire state director for First Budget, a joint nonpartisan initiative of The Concord Coalition and the Campaign to Fix the Debt. He also serves as Concord’s New England regional director.
“The way to inject some reality into the next president’s first budget is for voters to demand greater realism during the campaign,” he writes.
As the population ages and per-person health care costs continue to rise, federal benefit programs will steadily become more expensive. Revenues are projected to grow as well, but not by enough to keep up. Interest payments and revenue lost through “tax expenditures” are also expected to rise.
Consequently, the debt could increase by another $7 trillion over the next two presidential terms.
“The debt does not need to be the only campaign priority,” Hagaman says, “but it must be among the top priorities in order to have a mandate for action.”