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Republicans say runaway spending root of problem
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WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the loud and clear consensus of Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail: Runaway government spending is the problem, not taxes.But the math isn’t so simple.The number at the heart of the battle cry of the Republicans and their tea party allies — that federal spending has risen to an alarming 25 percent of the economy — is skewed by recession dynamics.In recessions, federal spending always goes up and tax revenues go down. And the economy contracts in recessions, shrinking the gross domestic product, which is the total output of goods and services and the broadest measure of the economy’s health.Republicans are calling for sweeping spending cuts and want to hold the line on taxes, even as the U.S. struggles through one of its slowest recoveries since the Great Depression. The jobless rate has been stuck for months at more than 9 percent.