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President Obama Thinks Deficit Reduction is Complete
February 26, 2013
“Over the last few years, Democrats and Republicans have come together and cut our deficit [over the next decade] by more than $2.5 trillion through a balanced mix of spending cuts and higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. That’s more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists and elected officials from both parties say we need to stabilize our debt,” Obama said this month.
According to the president, the Government needs to find $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years to hit the $4 trillion target. With sequestration, set to go into effect Friday, that would provide an additional $1.2 trillion leaving the President just shy of his stated goal. However, his goal of deficit reduction doesn’t factor in a pretty large gorilla in the room – the national debt.
The federal budget deficit in 2013 is projected to be $845 billion, the first time the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has forecast a deficit below $1 trillion under President Obama. Under Obama, the Government has run up trillion dollar deficits every year he has been in office. The CBO projects the deficit to fall to $430 billion by 2015. After that it will continue to decrease before slowly rising. By 2023, the CBO projects the nation will be nearing the $1 trillion mark with a $978 billion budget deficit. This renders his efforts to close the deficit moot.
Whether the president realizes that his goal is smoke and mirrors will be on full display when he finally releases his budget. Currently he is beyond the legal deadline of when he is to propose a budget to the Congress. The White House has said that it's been delayed by passage of legislation last month to avert the fiscal cliff. House and Senate Republicans have highlighted this failure on the part of Obama for missing the early February deadline of budget submissions each year he has held office.
Congress for its part also has a mixed record of delivering its own budgets. House Republicans have passed a budget each year they have controlled the lower chamber. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have yet to pass a budget in four years. Typically, both chambers would bring forth budget plans during the month of March ahead of the annual appropriations process. Time will tell if each chamber is able to present and then pass a budget plan. How has the president’s budget proposals fared when they do reach the House and Senate for a vote? His budget this past year did not receive a single aye vote.
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