Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 1:51 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Two facts on the budget

By Jennifer Rubin

If you want to understand how deeply insincere is the president's effort at fiscal discpline, you need look no further than two key facts.

First, he expands the deficit in the first year. Yup. Yuval Levin explains:

A lot of the commentary about the president's budget yesterday and today has had to do with the projections and assumptions it makes about the next decade, and that makes sense -- the budget lays out the administration's priorities and expectations. But it's important to remember that our federal government budgets itself year by year, and in making next year's budget it is not bound by this year's budget. So to assess the administration's proposal, one very crucial figure to look at is the effect their budget, if adopted, would have on the deficit in the year for which it would actually be the budget -- that is, in 2012. You can find that figure on page 172 of the budget (Table S-2, here). It shows that by the administration's own calculations, the effect its own budget would have in 2012 would be to increase the deficit by $11 billion. In other words, the Obama budget says that if we pass the Obama budget then the deficit for 2012 will be $1.1 trillion but if we don't pass it then the deficit would be $1.09 trillion.

When Rep. Paul Ryan (R- Wis.) said yesterday that it would be better to do nothing than to pass the president's budget he wasn't kidding. And recall that budget "cuts" in the out years are a favorite trick of budgeteers who will be long gone when those cuts never materialize.

Second, Obama claimed at his "hastily" arranged, damage-control press conference today that by the "middle of the decade" revenues would match expenditures. The office of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) was quick on the draw, putting out this analysis that demonstrates revenue never matches expenditures under Obama's proposed budget.

Maybe the White House thinks we won't notice such things. But for now the country is waiting for real leadership and accuracy on the budget. Mr. Ryan, what say you?

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  Budget  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why have a press conference like THAT?
Next: Morning Bits


This is a test for the American public. Can they understand that this cynical, dishonest do-nothing budget will be ruinous in a few years? Can they understand that Obama is offering us Greek-style insolvency by about mid-decade? Medicare and Medicaid particularly are impossible to sustain without reform, but Obama is too cowardly and irresponsible to pay heed to his own Budget Commission.

Posted by: eoniii | February 15, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's remember that the "Road for America" plan wouldn't bring revenues in line with expenditures for 30+ years, according to the CBO.

In short, Americans who advocate true deficit reduction are being hoodwinked by both parties.

One side argues that their triple-thick chocolate shake is more healthy for America, while the other protests that their triple-stack bacon bleu cheeseburger would be better.

Posted by: MsJS | February 15, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't Boehner,MCConnell,Ryan et all having their own press conference to expose what a sham the OBudget is?

Jenn,Rand Paul is for $500 Billion in cuts right now.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 15, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"..but Obama is too cowardly and irresponsible to pay heed to his own Budget Commission."

eoniii, Or perhaps what Obama really means when he says he wants to "fundamentally transform America" is to create a situation where taxes must be raised and the federal govt must insert itself evermore into all of our lives and create, for lack of a better term, a socialist paradise.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 15, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

RitchieEmmons is echoing an arugment made by Stanley Kutz in today's NRO corner. Mr Kurtz's view is that Obama is a die hard socialist and so he will use the budget situation as a means of getting America ever closer to his socialist goal.

I see the argument shaping up this way. Every nickle spent by the government has a champion out there. That champion will breathlessly proclaim that the Americans are all going to suffer unduly if the money they currently spend is reduced or eliminated. The water for this will be carried by thoughtless liberal talking heads like Cohen and Gerson at this publication.

The leftwwardly biased press will then attempt to paint the Republicans as thoughtless, careless, heartless or all of the above.

We've seen this movie before. But if we give into to these soft headed siren calls we'll wind up being little more than Greece with better plumbing. Can't take credit for that last, but man is that correct.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Representative Bill Archer of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said the ... Democratic program would amount to "a job-killing poison for the economy."

"Try to soak the rich," Mr. Archer continued, "and you drown middle-income men and women."

Sounds familiar right?? Archer was referring to President Bill Clinton's inagural budget, August, 1993, which included tax hikes on the top 2% of earners - HOWEVER in the next eight years the US would add 20,000,000 new jobs, and longest peacetime economic expansion in history - worth remembering.

Posted by: paulserrano | February 15, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I have yet to see a plan that truly balances the budget for one or more fiscal years. (Balancing the budget means that after all expenses are paid, the debt can be reduced by at least one dollar.)

Posted by: jimb | February 15, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Jennifer on your budget articles - and your analysis of Obama's press conference.

It was pointless if Obama has nothing to say.

However, the press conference was pointless for an more important reason: Everyone has stopped listening to Obama. Obama blew it and people are ready to move forward without him. The truth is Obama is a lame-duck and people want to deal with the next guy.

It is horrible.

Right now, in the middle of an Economic Crisis, Obama has put this nation into a holding pattern - on account of one person's ego which refuses to recognize reality. The charge that Obama "doesn't understand is correct," however the truth is even worse: Obama doesn't understand America.

It's simple.

The truth in all the charges about Obama, whether he is American - the REALITY is that Obama does not understand America.


Posted by: AllSpendingMustBeCut | February 16, 2011 5:51 AM | Report abuse

It is becoming increasingly clear that state leaders who are aggressively tackling deficits (Christie, Cuomo) are enjoying tremendous popularity. Not necessarily because voters understand the intricacy of state budgets but everyone understands the notion of living within one's means. No nuanced political argument can escape that basic notion and it is no different on the federal level. It is not that we do not need and appreciate service provided by government for the public good but we believe it is too costly, may not be necessary and is unsustainable.

Posted by: billthebeast | February 16, 2011 5:53 AM | Report abuse


Your analysis on the positions of Obama on the budget is 100% correct. Obama is a coward and failed to constructively deal with the issues.

Instead Obama is playing games with the deficit and the Economy.

Obama is playing games with the country's credit card.

Obama has proven that he is unable to govern.

At this point, it is all about "governing" and for Obama it is all about "playing politics." The deficit is not "won" or "lost" by one side or the other. The entire country loses when the deficit is out-of-control. And that is PRECISELY CORRECT - there is no control over the budget. The deficit is on RUNAWAY. And Obama has just stepped on the accelerator.

Posted by: 37thRisingNow | February 16, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company