The GOP presidential candidates do an awful lot of talking about fiscal conservativism, but when their budgets meet the road, there seems to be plenty of rubber involved. The budget plans of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich would all greatly expand the national debt, independent analysts find. The shining exception to the rule is Ron Paul, whose plan for huge cuts to government services would cut future borrowing by $2 trillion, the Washington Post reports. Santorum and Gingrich, on the other hand, would probably force the US to borrow trillions of dollars.
Santorum and Gingrich would slash taxes, but don't balance that with enough spending cuts. Santorum's plan would prompt an extra $4.5 trillion in debt by 2021, while Gingrich's would run up a $7 trillion tab in the same time. While Romney's initial plan would have kept the debt rising at around its current rate, he recently floated tax cuts that could slash revenues by some $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years, says an expert. Paul, however, would shrink tax revenues to the tune of $5 trillion over the same period, but his $7 trillion in proposed cuts would easily cover that. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)