How do candidates plan to fix the $19 trillion debt?

AP photos of Trump_Cruz_372988

(CNN) – This week, Donald trump made a dumb-founding declaration that he would pay off America’s 19 trillion dollar debt in just eight years.  A goal most experts say is ridiculous.

Even if you could pay it that fast, it would be harmful, “You’d no longer have a treasury market and you’d probably very greatly weaken the economy,” said Maya MacGuineas.

Trump’s plan may not have hit a bullseye, but it did aim at a crucial issue rarely addressed target on the campaign trail, the debt, “Fixing the debt is hard, it involves the things politicians really don’t like to talk about//you end up hearing fairy tale promises. It’s like Alice in Wonderland budgeting,” said MacGuineas.

The wealthy should pay their fair share, they say, and while we’re at it “We need to limit unnecessary and costly foreign wars.”

Hillary Clinton says she’s proposing new ways to pay for $100 billion in new spending, but without adding any new charges, the interest on our current tab costs hundreds of billions each year.

“We’re going to have to raise taxes, cut spending, reform entitlements and grow the economy. But really what politicians like to talk about is cutting taxes and increasing spending the opposite of what will fix the debt,” said MacGuineas.

Senator Ted Cruz says he can save the country $500 billion dollars over a decade.  In part by cutting quote “unconstitutional” government agencies.

As a senator he’s been vocal about balancing the budget, but as a crowd pleasing candidate he’s proposed billions in new spending.

Donald Trump’s promise to eliminate the national debt is according to the Kasich campaign just another example “showing he’s not prepared to be president.”

The former congressman says he’s the only contender with a balanced federal budget under his belt, “I finally got us to a balanced budget 4 years in a row, paid down half a trillion dollars of the national debt.”

He’s given no detailed plans for how he’ll repeat the feat.  The specifics have not been forthcoming – as the debt continues to grow even as the race narrows.

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