The Best Tool for Comparing Budget Plans Out There

More

Confused about the deficit plans? Lucky you.


The Deficit Comparison Tool from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is the most comprehensive and detailed way to compare the 30 D.C. deficit reduction plans (yes, we're up to 30 now), from the president's deficit commission to Rep. Mike Quigley's budget. It's an essential resource for people following the debate over how to raise taxes, cut spending, and slow the growth of entitlements to bring down our long term debt.

What becomes clear as you scan the options that there's no obvious path to a deficit compromise. Take taxes, for example. The Center for American Progress wants revenue to hit 22.5% of GDP. In 2010, tax revenue came in at 16% of GDP. (Taxes will recover as the economy recovers, but to give you a sense of things: A six-and-a-half percentage point gap is equivalent to about $950 billion in tax increases.) On the other hand, CATO, Heritage Foundation and the House Budget Resolution won't even raise taxes by a cent, which keeps the tax stream at 18% of GDP.

Averaging the liberal and conservative plans together gets you a 20.5% tax revenue target. But Washington always doesn't work by taking the middle of two extremes. There aren't more than three Republicans in Congress who have shown an appetite for any sort of tax increases in the individual income or corporate code. I'd say that higher tax revenue on the back of lower rates and fewer expenditures is the most likely tax deal, but the most likely tax deal isn't necessarily likely.

So feel out the tool at CFRB. But unfortunately, just because information can be organized doesn't mean it's going to lead to something constructive on Capitol Hill.



Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In