ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Senate candidates Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak define their differences to voters, one difference can be measured in dollars: according to an analysis from the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), Sestak would boost the federal budget by about $100 billion, while Toomey would cut them by about $2.5 billion. However, both had significant proposals whose costs could not be readily tabulated.
"Given the current economic and fiscal picture, how candidates would address future government spending occupies a larger role in campaigns than most other issues," said NTUF's Director of Congressional Analysis Jeff Dircksen. "For this reason, sorting rhetoric from reality – and putting price tags on promises – is vital."
For the study, NTUF gathered information from the campaigns and media coverage on any proposals by the two leading Pennsylvania Senate contenders that could impact federal spending. Cost estimates for these items were verified against independent sources such as the Congressional Budget Office, and through NTUF's BillTally system, which since 1991 has tracked all spending bills in Congress. Findings include:
- Sestak's campaign promises would increase annual federal spending by a net of $100.062 billion. Of Sestak's 48 budget-related proposals NTUF identified, 20 would increase outlays, one would reduce them, and 27 have costs or savings that were impossible to accurately determine.
- Toomey's platform would produce a net annual budget savings of $2.509 billion. However, NTUF found only nine proposals with a spending effect: four to raise expenditures, one to lower them, and four without directly quantifiable estimates.
- Major items in Sestak's fiscal platform include an estimated $51.54 billion for a green jobs/technology program (with a cap-and-trade system) and $18.7 billion for a new housing/economic recovery plan.
- Elements in Toomey's agenda include allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines ($56 million) and lawsuit reform (which the Congressional Budget Office estimated at an annualized savings of $2.575 billion).
NTUF is the research arm of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, a non-profit citizen group. Note: The line-by-line analysis of the Pennsylvania Senate candidates' spending agendas and other soon-to-be-completed Senate studies are available at www.ntu.org.
SOURCE National Taxpayers Union Foundation