Today, the Congressional Budget Office projected this year’s deficit to be $845 billion. It would be the first time during Barack Obama’s presidency that the deficit could be measured with only a 12-digit number. Hooray?
CBO expects higher tax revenues, including the tax increases included in the Jan. 1 deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, to contribute $259 billion toward deficit reduction. (Here, I repeat my standard disclaimer that CBO almost always over-estimates the increase in revenues that comes with higher tax rates because it does not even attempt to consider how people will change their behavior to avoid paying higher taxes.)
Yet, also today, Obama said he does not want to see spending cuts of just $85 billion due to the sequester take effect.
For those keeping score at home, the cuts he opposes equal (take your pick):
- just 2.3 percent of all federal spending this year;
- just 10.1 percent of even this year’s deficit;
- a mere $1 for every $3 in deficit reduction