Based on the latest findings from the Congressional Budget Office, the president’s latest budget proposal may signal an end to the “balanced approach” he has advocated for the past several years as it relies primarily on new taxes to reduce borrowing.
President Obama’s most recent budget request would reduce borrowing by $1.1 trillion over the next decade compared with current law — almost entirely through higher taxes on the rich, large estates and smokers, congressional budget analysts said Friday.
In addition to raising nearly $1 trillion in new taxes, the president’s blueprint would also cut spending modestly, according to the analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
However, those savings include money the government never intended to spend anyway, such as a contingency fund for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and nearly $300 billion in unneeded disaster relief. [...]
All told, if the savings from military operations and disaster relief were discounted, Obama’s budget blueprint would actually increase spending over the next decade by roughly $700 billion, according to CBO figures. And while Obama’s budget would still reduce projected borrowing by that measure, the 10-year total would shrink to around $255 billion
The president’s proposal reduces the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years while making new investments and raising taxes. For liberals there isn’t a whole lot to dislike, but the Republicans will obviously want to kill this thing with fire as quickly as possible so they can vote on another incarnation of the Ryan budget which would actually increase the deficit.
According to the Washington Post, Mitch McConnell said the president’s proposal “is not a ‘balanced’ budget” even by Democratic standards, and he’s right. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
At this point the deficit is already shrinking precipitously and the “balanced approach” may die with it. And that’s not to say the Republicans will suddenly achieve enlightenment and agree that we should stop cutting, but it will increase the pressure on them to come up with new reasons to keep cutting.
When the budget deficit dissipates the only argument you’re left with is the idea that government is simply too big, and I don’t think voters respond to that as well as they do big scary numbers.