CRFB and FTD Publish 16 Budget Myths to Watch Out For in the 2016 Campaign

The next President will need to confront a number of budgetary challenges and will likely sign into law many federal tax and spending changes. But election campaigns are often about telling voters what they want to hear rather than what they need to know. Today we released our new report, Fiscal FactCheck: 16 Budget Myths to Watch Out For in the 2016 Campaign, in which we identified 16 myths that may come up during the campaign. The myths span things we think candidates from both parties may say or have said about matters related to our national debt, taxes, health care, Social Security, and one-size-fits-all solutions that they think will dismiss the need for real action. The myths report is the first of a Fiscal FactCheck series that will fact check candidates on their statements throughout the 2016 campaign.

The 16 myths are:

Myths About the National Debt

  1. We Can Continue Borrowing Without Consequences
  2. With Deficits Falling, Our Debt Problems are Behind Us
  3. There is No Harm in Waiting to Solve Our Debt Problems
  4. Deficit Reduction is Code for Austerity, Which Will Harm the Economy

Myths About Taxes

  1. Tax Cuts Pay For Themselves
  2. We Can Fix the Debt Solely by Taxing the Top 1%
  3. We Can Dramatically Lower Tax Rates by Closing a Few Egregious Loopholes
  4. Any Tax Increases Will Cripple Economic Growth

Myths About Health Care and Social Security

  1. Medicare and Social Security Are Earned Benefits and Therefore Should Not Be Touched
  2. Repealing “Obamacare” Will Fix the Debt
  3. The Health Care Cost Problem is Solved
  4. Social Security’s Shortfall Can be Closed Simply by Raising Taxes on or Means-Testing Benefits for the Wealthy

Myths About Easy Fixes

  1. We Can Solve Our Debt Situation by Cutting Waste, Fraud, Abuse, Earmarks, and/or Foreign Aid
  2. We Can Grow Our Way Out of Debt
  3. A Balanced Budget Amendment is All We Need to Fix the Debt
  4. We Can Fix the Debt Solely by Cutting Welfare Spending

We tackle these myths in more detail in the full paper, available here. And we will continue to dispel these and other myths on the campaign trail through our Fiscal FactChecker.