WASHINGTON D.C. – According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billionâ€”a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cutsâ€”cuts that never ultimately cameâ€”they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.
â€œIn 1982, President Reagan was promised $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes,â€ Americans for Tax Reform says of those two incidents. â€œThe tax hikes went through, but the spending cuts did not materialize. President Reagan later said that signing onto this deal was the biggest mistake of his presidency.
“In 1990, President George H.W. Bush agreed to $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes. The tax hikes went through, and we are still paying them today. Not a single penny of the promised spending cuts actually happened.â€