CRFB Presidential Candidate Plan Comparison Tool

This tool allows comparison of the major fiscal policies proposed as of April 9 by the four Republican presidential candidates.  For more details on each piece of any candidate's plan, click on "Primary Numbers" in the CRFB Resources section.  US Budget Watch is designed to inform the public and is not intended to express a view for or against any candidate or any specific policy proposal.  Candidates' proposals should be evaluated on a broad array of policy perspectives, including but certainly not limited to their approaches on deficits and the debt.

Explore

  1. Choose a budget area (column) and click the show button to begin.
  2. Or, use the printer-friendly version to view all of the plans in full detail.

Compare

  1. Select up to 3 plans to compare by clicking the check boxes below each plan's name.
  2. Click any of the compare buttons to view the selected plans fully expanded, side-by-side.

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Speaker Newt Gingrich
Date Released: NA
Website: Gingrich's Solutions

  • Block-grant and cut in half spending on 100+ means-tested programs (both mandatory and discretionary)
  • Eliminate Dept. of Energy
  • Reduce Dept. of Education to research functions only
  • Establish a moon base and manned mission to Mars
  • Reduce federal compensation by repealing current civil service laws

  • Allow workers to contribute a portion of their payroll taxes into individually owned retirement accounts which would replace traditional benefits at retirement
  • Guarantee retirement accounts pay out at least as much as currently scheduled benefits

  • Repeal the 2010 Health Care Law (PPACA)
  • Block-grant Medicaid and cut funding by half
  • Over the long-run, transform Medicare into a premium support system and allow workers to divert part of their Medicare tax into a private account
  • Expand Health Savings Accounts
  • Enact medical malpractice reform
  • Allow individuals to deduct, or receive a credit for, the cost of health insurance
  • Establish high-risk pools
  • Allow purchase of insurance across state lines
  • Reduce fraud

  • Block grant and cut in half spending on 100+ means-tested programs (both mandatory and discretionary)
  • Repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley, Davis-Bacon, and Dodd-Frank Acts
  • Replace the National Labor Relations Board
  • Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Audit the Federal Reserve and narrow its mandate
  • Repeal Community Reinvestment Act
  • Expand oil and gas development
  • Reduce improper payments

  • Extend the 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts
  • Eliminate capital gains taxes
  • Eliminate the estate tax
  • Allow individuals to opt into an alternative system with a 15% flat rate, a $12,000 standard deduction, no AMT, and no taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends. The alternative system would retain the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), mortgage interest deduction, and charitable deduction

  • Reduce top rate to 12.5%
  • Move to a territorial system
  • Permanently extend 100% expensing

  • Enact a balanced budget amendment
  • Implement Lean Six Sigma to improve government efficiency and reduce waste

Congressman Ron Paul
Date Released: NA
Website: Paul's Plan to Restore America

  • Eliminate International Assistance Programs, and Depts. of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, Education
  • Cut the non-defense federal workforce by 10% and further reduce compensation
  • End overseas wars, and enact additional defense spending reductions
  • Privatize the TSA and FAA
  • Cut federal travel costs

  • Eliminate income taxation of Social Security benefits
  • Exempt the terminally ill and certain caregivers from the payroll tax
  • Allow young people to opt out of the system entirely

  • Repeal the 2010 Health Care Law (PPACA)
  • Block-grant Medicaid and SCHIP, freeze at 2006 levels, and transfer from mandatory spending to discretionary
  • Over the long run, transform Medicare into a premium support system and allow young people to opt out
  • Allow tax credits and deductions for all medical expenses
  • Enact medical malpractice reform
  • Allow purchase of insurance across state lines
  • Reduce fraud

  • Block grant and freeze at 2006 levels, and transfer from mandatory spending to discretionary: Food Stamps (SNAP), Family Support Programs, Child Nutrition Programs
  • Repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley, Davis-Bacon and Dodd-Frank Acts
  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board
  • Eliminate: International Assistance Programs; Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, and Education.  (Note: Paul’s plan does not specifically list funding for, or elimination of, the Departments of Treasury or Labor; we assume these are also eliminated, except certain IRS functions.)
  • De-federalize highway funding
  • Sell excess lands and assets
  • End the Federal Reserve system and cancel Treasury debt held by the Federal Reserve
  • Reduce improper payments

  • Extend 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts
  • Eliminate capital gains and dividends taxes
  • Eliminate the estate tax and gift tax
  • Eliminate the AMT
  • Establish tax credit for home schooling
  • Establish tax credit for natural gas vehicles
  • Eliminate gas taxes
  • Increase the mileage reimbursement rate
  • Replace income tax with Fair or Flat Tax after repeal of 16th Amendment
  • Eliminate taxation of tips

 


  • Reduce top rate to 15%
  • End taxes on corporate profits abroad
  • Make permanent all expiring “tax extenders”
  • Eliminate gas taxes
  • Eliminate aviation taxes
  • Establish tax credits for development of alternative fuels

  • Enact a balanced budget amendment
  • No additional debt ceiling increases

Governor Mitt Romney
Date Released: NA
Website: Romney's Jobs and Economic Growth Plans

  • Enact an immediate 5% cut to non-security domestic discretionary spending
  • Cut the non-defense federal workforce by 10% and further reduce compensation
  • Increase core defense spending to 4% of GDP and offset a spending floor at that level with unspecified non-defense discretionary spending cuts
  • Privatize Amtrak
  • Eliminate Title X family planning
  • Reduce federal spending on the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, and on foreign aid

  • Increase the retirement age to account for increases in longevity
  • Lower growth rate of benefits "for those with higher incomes"
  • Exempt those at or near retirement

  • Repeal the 2010 Health Care Law (PPACA)
  • Block-grant Medicaid and limit growth to 1% above inflation
  • Over the long run, transition Medicare to a premium support system, but keep traditional Medicare as an option competing alongside private plans
  • Increase the Medicare eligibility age (those at or near retirement would not be affected by changes in the eligibility age)
  • Allow individuals to deduct, or receive a credit for, the cost of health insurance
  • Enact medical malpractice reform
  • Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines
  • Reduce fraud

  • Repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley, Davis-Bacon and Dodd-Frank Acts
  • Reduce funding for the National Labor Relations Board
  • Expand oil and gas development
  • Reduce improper payments
  • Require congressional approval of all new “major” regulations

  • Extend the 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts
  • Reduce all individual rates across the board by 20% (cut top rate from 35 to 28)
  • Eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest for families with income below $200,000
  • Eliminate the estate tax
  • Eliminate the AMT
  • Reform or repeal various (unspecified) credits, exclusions and deductions, particularly for higher earners

  • Reduce top rate to 25%
  • Move to a territorial system
  • Permanently extend Research and Experimentation Tax Credit
  • Reform or repeal various (unspecified) tax expenditures

  • Enact a balanced budget amendment
  • Cap total federal spending at 20% of GDP by 2016

Senator Rick Santorum
Date Released: NA
Website: Santorum on the Issues

  • Reduce non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels
  • Cut the non-defense federal workforce by 10% and further reduce compensation
  • Cut spending in half for United Nations and USAID
  • Eliminate Planned Parenthood funding
  • Freeze defense spending for five years

  • Reform Social Security, putting it on a "sustainable path"
  • Increase retirement age for younger workers
  • Means-test benefits, including by adjusting initial benefits for higher earners
  • Reform the dependent and disability benefit

  • Repeal the 2010 Health Care Law (PPACA)
  • Block-grant Medicaid, cut funding by 10%, and freeze at that level for 5 years
  • Transition Medicare to a premium support system as soon as it is possible
  • Expand Health Savings Accounts, and increase contribution limits to keep pace with medical inflation
  • Provide a refundable, income-related tax credit for the purchase of health coverage
  • Allow purchase of own health care with pre-tax dollars
  • Allow individuals to deduct, or receive a credit for, the cost of health insurance
  • Enact medical malpractice reform
  • Implement state risk pools
  • Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines
  • Reduce fraud

  • Repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts
  • Reduce funding for the National Labor Relations Board
  • Block-grant various social programs, cut funding by 10%, and freeze at that level for 5 years
  • Rescind remaining stimulus spending
  • Phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over 5 years
  • Audit the Federal Reserve and narrow its mandate
  • Expand oil and gas development
  • Eliminate all energy subsidies
  • Eliminate "most" farm subsidies
  • Sell excess federal property
  • Reduce improper payments
  • Cut $5 trillion over five years (details unspecified)

  • Establish two rates of 10% and 28%
  • Reduce tax rates on capital gains and qualifying dividends to 12%
  • Eliminate the estate tax
  • Eliminate the AMT
  • Triple the personal deduction for each child
  • Create deduction for losses incurred in home sales with underwater mortgages
  • Eliminate some (unspecified) tax expenditures, but retain deductions for charitable giving, mortgage interest, health care, and retirement
  • Eliminate marriage tax penalties

  • Reduce top rate to 17.5%
  • Eliminate corporate taxes entirely for manufacturers
  • Eliminate taxes on repatriated income if investing in plants or equipment, reduce to 5.25% otherwise
  • Permanently extend 100% expensing
  • Increase the Research & Experimentation Tax Credit to 20% and make it permanent
  • Eliminate all energy tax preferences

  • Enact a balanced budget amendment
  • Cap total federal spending at 18% of GDP
  • Implement Lean Six Sigma to improve government efficiency and reduce waste