"Whoever is the next president will preside over a period where if we don't make changes, we will add $9 trillion to the debt over the next ten years." -- Maya MacGuineas.
Clinton could tax the wealthy at a 90 percent top marginal rate, raise rates on corporations, and enact every other trickle-down tax on consumers she desires, and there’s still no way she would not add to the national debt. If she failed to enact her agenda and did absolutely nothing as president (we should be so lucky), Clinton would still add to the debt. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which accepts her economic plan on its face, estimates that her policies would cost $200 billion and cause public debt to rise from over $14 trillion to more than $23 trillion over the next decade.
Deficits have gone up and down over the years, but the debt has only gone in one direction—up—and it will continue to do so under the next president, whether it is Clinton or Donald Trump. “Whoever is president will actually be adding $9 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years unless they make changes,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group. “So it won’t be policies that they put in place” that will cause an increase, “but the current trajectory is that we’ll borrow $9 trillion over the next 10 years...“For a candidate to say they have a plan that wouldn’t add a penny to the debt, they’d actually need a plan to $9 trillion,” MacGuineas said. “She doesn’t have that, and no one could actually even be expected to have that. We are going to add to the debt. “What she’s saying in budget-speak is she’s not going to add more to the debt than we are already on track to borrow,” she said.
Neither Democrat Clinton nor Republican Trump have put forward a plan to address the situation. In fact, Trump, whose main economic policy revolves around a massive tax cut, could add $5.3 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. And even Clinton, who has proposed a far more modest combination of tax hikes and new spending, would still do little to fix it, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Mrs. Clinton went on to say she will find “ways to get more money into it,” but flatly ruled out any benefit cuts, saying she would instead increase benefits. Budget analysts panned both candidates’ answers. “Both candidates suggested ‘easy fixes’ to #SocialSecurity. They’re not enough,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said on Twitter. The CFRB said Mrs. Clinton’s plan to raise the tax cap would help, but won’t be enough. And the group said the economic growth Mr. Trump is counting on to make up deficits resulting from his tax cuts will only replace a third of the lost revenue.
The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has analyzed both of the candidates’ spending and revenue proposals, finding that neither pays for everything they’ve put forth. It’s true that Clinton comes a lot closer to paying for her spending proposals than Trump does in covering his tax cuts, according to the CRFB analysis, but she would add well more than a penny to the debt under what she has detailed thus far. CRFB estimates, updated as of Sept. 21, found that Clinton’s plans “would increase the debt by $200 billion over a decade above current law levels.” Trump’s proposals “would increase the debt by $5.3 trillion.”
Nonpartisan analysts who have examined the promises made by Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail have calculated that Hillary will add to both the national deficit and the national debt. For example, the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which rates Clinton’s plan as being much closer to deficit neutral than Trump’s, still projects that Clinton’s plans would add about $200 billion to the national debt.
he Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports, “Unfortunately, both candidates’ plans to increase the debt come on top of current law projections that already estimate that debt will grow by $9 trillion over the next decade.”
“As a result, under Clinton’s plans debt would grow from nearly 77 percent of GDP today to over 86 percent by 2026; under Trump’s plans, debt would grow to 105 percent of GDP by 2026.”
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan policy group, says Clinton’s plans would increase the debt by a relatively small amount, $200 billion over a decade "above current law levels." The Clinton campaign says a new business tax plan would generate an additional $275 billion to cancel out that debt increase. However the numbers shake out, the debt would still grow by $9 trillion over 10 years because of interest payments related to the U.S. debt.
"Interest on the debt will become the fastest growing part of federal spending. In 2017, the next president will inherit a government projected to spend over $300 billion on interest payments that year alone, an amount that grows to more than $800 billion by 2025 — more than the current combined federal spending on the Defense Department, education, transportation, and medical research," wrote Bob Bixby and Maya MacGuineas for the Brookings Institution.
Moderator Chris Wallace noted that the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has said that Clinton's economic plan would raise the national debt to 86 percent of Gross Domestic Product over the next ten years. Wallace also said the same group has said that Trump's plan would raise the debt to 105 percent of GDP over the next ten years.