So much for a “balanced approach” to the budget deficit problem
Over the last few years, President Barack Obama has pushed a so-called “balanced approach” to the deal with the out-of-control budget deficits that have become the status quo in Washington over the last four years — totaling more than $5.5 trillion. But James Pethokoukis notes that President Obama’s approach to dealing with budget deficits relies overwhelmingly on increase revenues to the federal government (ie. taxes hikes) than it does on spending cuts:
Obama says his budget would achieve $4 trillion in new savings, just like Simpson-Bowles. But he includes a lot of stuff in that $4 trillion that S-B do not. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget points out:
To reach his $4.3 trillion in savings through 2021, the President’s budget counts $1.6 trillion (excluding interest) of already-enacted savings. In addition, it includes two elements which the Fiscal Commission assumed in its baseline – a drawdown of the wars ($740 billion through 2021) and the expiration of the upper-income tax cuts ($830 billion through 2021). If the Commission’s plan were scored the same way as the President’s $4.3 trillion, we estimate it would save roughly $6.5 trillion through 2021.
Compared to CRFB’s Realistic Baseline, we estimate that all new policies in the President’s budget would save nearly $2 trillion through 2022.
2. OK, so the real savings are around $2 trillion, not $4 trillion. And of that $2 trillion, about $1.735 trillion comes from tax increases, $230 million come from spending cuts:
According to, you know, simple math, as Pethokoukis points out, President Obama’s approach is is 88% tax hikes — because that’s “balanced.” Of course, President Obama doesn’t want make any significant cuts to spending programs or reform the entitlements that pose a substantial threat to our long-term prosperity. And given our still-sluggish economy, raising taxes threatens economic growth, especially as they threaten to hit 1 million small business owners.
This is not a path toward fixing our economic problems, folks. This a path to making them worse because the fundamental issue — growth of government — isn’t being addressed. It’s kicking the can down the road, waiting for someone else to show leadership where President Obama has failed.