Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the federal deficit be reduced without raising any taxes?
Virgil Goode, former US Representative (R-VA), stated the following on his campaign website page "The Issues," available at www.goodeforpresident2012.com (accessed Oct. 9, 2012):
"Our debt has increased by over 4 trillion dollars under the Obama Presidency, which has also given us trillion dollar deficits. The United States can not borrow its way to prosperity. It is incumbent on our next President to propose a balanced budget upon taking office and not ten years down the road. There will be pain, but the old saying that one will not get out of the hole by digging the hole deeper is accurate. Nearly every department and agency will face significant cuts and some will face elimination. Veterans benefits is an example that will not be cut. Examples of programs eliminated include the National Endowment for the Arts, No Child Left Behind, etc. Other programs and departments, such as Foreign Aid and Education, will be slashed and trimmed." Oct. 9, 2012 Virgil Goode
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following in an Oct. 4, 2012 article "Gary Johnson: My Response to the Presidential Debate," available at www.usatoday.com:
"Americans deserve the truth. The truth is that our deficits are not only unsustainable, but represent a very real threat to this nation. And of the $16 trillion in debt our government in Washington has racked up, it is almost equally split between Republican and Democrat administrations.
It doesn't have to be that way. I will submit a balanced budget in 2013. Yes, that budget will call for spending reductions of 43% - the reductions necessary to match revenues without raising taxes.
If, as I suspect will be the case, Congress cannot muster the courage for such cuts, I will veto any legislation that mandates deficit spending. As governor of New Mexico, I vetoed 750 bills and thousands of budget line-items - and left the state with a healthy surplus after my two terms, even with a Democrat legislature.
Our economic condition is too precarious for us to nibble around the edges. We must dramatically reduce not only what government costs, but what it does." Oct. 4, 2012 Gary Johnson
[Editor's Note: In an Oct. 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org from Gary Johnson's Communications Director, Joe Hunter, Gary Johnson stated "Absolutely" in response to our question "Can the federal deficit be eliminated without raising taxes?"]
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following during the Oct. 3, 2012 Presidential debate at the University of Denver, available at www.npr.org:
"I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan...
And the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for a dollar of additional revenue, paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit...
There has to be revenue in addition to cuts. Now, Governor Romney has ruled out revenue. He's — he's ruled out revenue...
If we're serious, we've got to take a balanced, responsible approach..." Oct. 3, 2012 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following during the Oct. 3, 2012 Presidential debate at the University of Denver, available at www.npr.org:
"I think it's, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation. And they're going to be paying the interest and the principle all their lives. And the amount of debt we're adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral.
So how do we deal with it? Well, mathematically there are — there are three ways that you can cut a deficit. One, of course, is to raise taxes. Number two is to cut spending. And number three is to grow the economy because if more people work in a growing economy they're paying taxes and you can get the job done that way...
The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth and you could never quite get the job done. I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time...
...[T]he revenue I get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes. That's how we get growth and how we balance the budget. But the idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work — you'll never get there. You never balance the budget by raising taxes." Oct. 3, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following in a Dec. 21, 2011 questionnaire, "Jill Stein in AmericansElect Email Questionnaire," avaialble at www.ontheissues.org:
"Our real solution to the deficit is to end the Bush-Obama recession. Reductions in spending provide enormous savings, which may very well overwhelm the need for adjustments in the tax code. Those adjustments do need to be made, including asking the wealthiest to contribute their share, and giving breaks to the middle class and the poor, who are paying way too much...
But the reductions in spending should be focused properly - not on cutting social programs - but instead on downsizing the military, bringing the troops home, and moving to a prevention-based health care system. Those provide enormous savings and reductions, which may very well overwhelm the need for adjustments in the tax code." Dec. 21, 2011 Jill Stein