Commentary: Presidential candidates are vague on fiscal responsibility

This editorial appeared in the Belleville News-Democrat on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.

A comic recently quipped that times are so bad, the winner of next week's presidential election probably will ask for a recount. Certainly the new president will face the daunting challenge of figuring out how to enact his new programs and also be fiscally responsible.

The nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union puts the price tag on Barack Obama's proposals at $292 billion. John McCain's proposals of $92.9 billion are modest in comparison. But in the wake of the just- passed $700 billion bailout package, can our nation afford any increase in government spending?

The federal deficit for fiscal 2008 was $455 billion -- $65 billion more than projected just a few months earlier. And the federal debt is expected to top $11 trillion as a result of the $700 billion bailout.

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