2016 Presidential Candidates: Debt and Deficit

Every day, individuals, businesses, and state and local governments are required to make hard decisions regarding the management of their finances. Our federal government should begin to do the same. It is time for this nation to enact the spending and tax reforms necessary to stabilize our country’s debt, stimulate growth, and revive our economy.

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Hillary Clinton (D)

"There are a number of programs are redundant and not producing the results that people deserve. There are a lot of training programs and education programs that I think can be streamlined. I would like to take a hard look at every part of the federal government and do the kind of analysis that would rebuild some confidence that we're taking a hard look about what we have and what we don't need anymore." (Clinton, 2016)"

"There’s just a pattern here, where the other side continues to use the same old tired policies. They don’t work and then Democrat presidents have to come in and fix what was broken. I have this old-fashioned idea that, you know, you ought to look at the evidence and if you look at the evidence at the end of Bill Clinton’s two terms, we had the longest peace-time expansion in American history, with 22 million new jobs, a balanced budget and a surplus that would have paid off our national debt had they not been so rudely interrupted by the next administration.” (Clinton, 2015)


 

 

Donald Trump (R)

CUTTING SPENDING: "We are going to ask every Department Head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about it, I’m going to do it. We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution." (Trump, 2016)
 
DEFICIT SPENDING: “It’s called priming the pump. Sometimes you have to do that a little bit to get things going. We have no choice — otherwise, we are going to die on the vine. The economy would be crushed under Hillary. But no matter who it is, the debt is going up.” (Trump, 2016)
 
“President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than 19 trillion dollars and growing. And yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are third-world condition, and 43 million Americans are on food stamps” (Trump, 2016)
 
“If we have an opportunity where interest rates go up and you can buy debt back at a discount, I always like to be able to do that if you can do it" (Trump, 2016)
 
"Now, thanks to fracking and other things, the oil is all over the place. And I used to say it, there are ships at sea, and this was during the worst crisis, that were loaded up with the oil and the cartel kept the price up. Because again, they were smarter than our leaders...there is so much wealth out there that can make our country so rich again, and therefore make it great again, because we need money, we're dying, we're dying, we need money, we have to do it. And we need the right people...this is going to be an election, in my opinion, that's based on competence." (Trump, 2015)

 

 

Gary Johnson (L)

CUTTING SPENDING: "Oh, well, in a broad sense it is less government. If you’re talking about adding a thousand agents in this category, government is dynamic. Overall it should shrink in size. I do believe it tries to accomplish too much, it taxes too much, but government is dynamic and this is an issue that needs to be faced. If that’s a thousand new people, I daresay we’re gonna overall cut the size and scope of government." (Johnson, 2016)
 
CUTTING SPENDING: " Well, not really. I mean, cutting the--it is a factor--it's a factor of reduced government spending, it's a factor of economic growth, and we've had government grow, though. So, no, he hasn't contributed to the equation like he--like I thought I heard him say, going back all the way to 2008. I mean, he said all the right things. He said that the deficit really is horrible and that we need to reduce it when the reality is--like I say, he's--he has control over one segment of that equation, and in that segment that he has control over, or some--much control over--government spending--he's--it hasn't happened. And another great untold story is, okay, no legislation passes whatsoever, you're the executive. You get to run federal government. So don't discount the power that lies to achieve smaller government if you've got somebody in the Oval Office that's bent on making that happen." (Johnson, 2016)

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT: “By the time Barack Obama leaves office, the national debt will be $20 TRILLION. That is not just obscene, it is unsustainable — and arguably the single greatest threat to our national security. Responsibility for the years of deficit spending that have created our debt crisis rests squarely with BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats. The debt doubled under President George W. Bush — and doubled again under President Obama. During that time, both parties enjoyed control of Congress, and the deficit spending just kept piling up. It doesn’t have to be that way, despite what the politicians say. But the idea that we can somehow balance the federal budget without cutting military spending and reforming entitlements is fantasy. What is required is leadership and political courage. As Governor of a state with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature, Gary Johnson stood up to excess spending, vetoed 750 bills and literally thousands of budget line items…and balanced the state’s budget. Governor Johnson has pledged that his first major act as President will be to submit to Congress a truly balanced budget. No gimmicks, no imaginary cuts in the distant future. Real reductions to bring spending into line with revenues, without tax increases. No line in the budget will be immune from scrutiny and reduction. And he pledges to veto any legislation that will result in deficit spending, forcing Congress to override his veto in order to spend money we don’t have. No excuses. No games. A REAL balanced budget" (Johnson, 2016)