Does John Kasich Have a Plan to Balance the Budget in Ten Years?

During the November 10 Republican debate, Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) touted his plan which he said would balance the budget by the end of his second term. Kasich is referring to the budget plan he released last month, which we analyzed here. His plan would get to on-budget balance within ten years, but it would not achieve balance on a unified basis. On-budget refers to all of government except for Social Security and the Post Office, with the former expected to run significant deficits. Kasich's plan would achieve a $3 billion on-budget surplus in 2025 but would still run a nearly $260 billion unified budget deficit. Importantly, Kasich does call for a bipartisan process to make Social Security solvent.

Kasich's plan is specific in some areas and lacks details in others. He calls for capping per-person Medicaid spending; consolidating funding for education, job training, and transportation; and reducing non-defense discretionary spending. On the other hand, he does not detail exactly how he would achieve his Medicare growth targets or avoid revenue losses from his tax plan.

Specifics aside, Kasich's plan would get to on-budget balance within ten years but would not achieve overall balance.

Ruling: It's Complicated