Remember Rick Crawford’s Promise to AR-01 constituents? Remember this video, namely the promise that comes at 0:18:
“And I won’t cut Social Security.”
In 2016,* for example, we estimate that total federal spending is likely to be around $4.4 trillion, or 22.9 percent of GDP, based on Congressional Budget Office March 2011 projections. Our spending projection makes two adjustments to CBO’s official estimates. First, we assume defense spending will follow President Obama’s proposed levels rather than CBO’s levels because CBO’s projections of defense spending do not account for a drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, our spending projections include a so-called “doc fix,” meaning Congress will not allow the very large cuts to Medicare doctors required by the so-called Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Of that $4.4 trillion in 2016, about $520 billion will be interest payments on the debt—an area Congress can’t directly cut. That leaves about $3.9 trillion in noninterest spending, from which Congress would have to slash about $1 trillion in order to bring total spending down to 18 percent of GDP. This would require a 25 percent cut to everything in the federal budget—from Social Security to veterans’ benefits to the Pentagon to education. Congress could try to protect some programs from such severe reductions but then, of course, other areas would have to be slashed even more.
We will see part of this ad again next year, mark my words, only this time Rick Crawford’s own words will be coming back to haunt him. Never make a promise you have no intention of keeping Congressman.