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Over $100 Billion Separates Federal Budget Agendas of Pennsylvania Senate Candidates, Study Finds
For Immediate Release October 12, 2010
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) – As Pennsylvania Senate candidates Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak try to define their differences to voters, at least one difference can be measured in dollars and cents: according to a line-by-line analysis from the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), many tax dollars separate the federal budget platforms of the two hopefuls. Sestak would boost outlays by just over $100 billion, while Toomey would cut them by about $2.5 billion, though both have made many campaign promises whose costs or savings are unknown.
To view Sestak's spending analysis in its entirety, click here.
To view Toomey's spending analysis in its entirety, click here.
“Given the current economic and fiscal picture, how candidates would address future government spending problems occupies a larger role in Congressional campaigns than most other issues,” said NTUF’s Director of Congressional Analysis and study author Jeff Dircksen. “For this reason, sorting rhetoric from reality and putting price tags on promises is vital.”
In preparing his analysis, Dircksen utilized campaign websites, transcripts of debates, and news sources to gather information on any proposals from the two leading Pennsylvania Senate race contenders that could impact the level of federal spending. He in turn verified cost estimates for these items against independent sources such as the Congressional Budget Office. He also cross-checked items through NTUF’s BillTally system, which since 1991 has computed agenda costs for each Member of Congress based on their sponsorship of bills. Among the findings:
“Public officials often discuss the benefits of their proposals without providing the context citizens need to weigh the costs,” Dircksen concluded. “With a nation that faces a $13 trillion national debt, and one that faces difficult choices over how much higher that figure will go, NTUF’s analysis provides vital clues to where candidates would take the nation’s finances.”
NTUF’s analysis of the Pennsylvania candidates’ agendas is one of several the group is currently conducting. Contests are being selected on factors such as geographic diversity, political significance as rated by outside groups and analysts, and the level of specificity in the candidates’ platforms.
NTUF is the research and educational arm of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, a non-profit citizen group. Note: The line-by-line cost analysis of the Pennsylvania Senate candidates’ spending agendas, and more information on BillTally, are both available online at www.ntu.org.