Obama’s deficit speech: ‘Timeline creep’ and other goodies
A few points about President Obama’s alleged budget-cutting speech:
- Obama is using some pretty significant “timeline creep” to make his figures appear comparable to Paul Ryan’s plan on behalf of the GOP. Ryan, you may recall, proposed $4.4 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, whereas Obama is proposing $4 trillion over 12 years.
- On an apples-to-apples basis, then, it’s $440 billion a year (Ryan) to $333 billion a year (Obama).
- To put the plans on a real apples-to-apples basis, since Obama would raise taxes to cover one-fourth of his reductions: Obama is proposing only $250 billion in spending cuts per year compared to Ryan’s $440 billion. As a reference point, the total federal budget this year will exceed $3.5 trillion.
- Actually, to be truly accurate, both men are proposing slower deficit growth — not anything like a balanced budget in the medium term.
- The difference is that Ryan addresses two entitlement programs — Medicare and Medicaid — while Obama hardly touches either of them, or Social Security. That means Ryan’s plan would bend the cost curve down (heard that line before?) for the fastest-growing parts of the federal budget, while Obama’s plan just cuts around the edges.
- Obama said this plan comes on top of his previous commitment, in his 2012 budget, to cut deficits by $1 trillion over 10 years — down to a mere $9.6 trillion during the next decade.
- Obama, then, wants to borrow $6.3 trillion between now and 2021. Ryan would have us borrow $5 trillion. And again, that’s after Obama raises taxes on “the rich.”
You can read the entire speech for yourself here.
– By Kyle Wingfield
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