The Ohio Senate race has largely been about the past. While campaigns try to get taxpayers to get riled up about partisanship and bailouts, candidates leave Ohioans with the same questions we’ve been asking for the last month. What are the policies that you would support as Ohio’s next Senator? How do your policies change the federal budget? Do you have or support a plan to reform entitlement programs for long-term solvency? Every American needs answers to these questions to make an informed decision. However, after last night’s debate, you might as well have watched a previous debate.
Something new, though not necessarily applicable to the 113th Congress, pledged by both candidates was their opposition to the GOP’s House budget, the Path to Prosperity. The Resolution would reduce current federal spending to 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2050. To achieve the savings, House Committees would be required to come up with $331.36 billion in annual spending reductions over a 10-year period. However, since it is left to the committees to achieve those savings, NTUF is unable to determine the specific programs or reforms that would result from passage of the budget. To put a broad figure on this proposal, the federal government is projected to spend $4.4 trillion in Fiscal Year 2018. Under the House Budget, it would spend $3.8 trillion in 2018.
On raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare, both candidates would not change the threshold from 65 for those currently on or about to become recipients of the entitlement programs. Brown said he would not seek any increase because people have been promised that they would start receiving benefits at a defined point. Mandel proposed to keep the eligibility for Baby Boomers but would consider increasing the age for citizens who are in the 30s and younger. Since Mandel’s proposal would occur beyond the five-year window, under BillTally rules, there would be no change to his Senate proposal study.
Essentially all of the debate was a rehash of what taxpayers have seen before. Unfortunately, that means that both candidates have no state-wide avenue and only 11 days to clarify their vague agenda items:
- Sherrod Brown has proposed 8 policies (53% of his budget-influencing agenda) that NTUF could not verify.
- Josh Mandel has 4 proposals (36% of his spending policies) that NTUF was unable to score.
Check out the debate in its entirety here.