Two facts on the budget
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?
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