Budget Background

“Obama claims more than $4 trillion in deficit savings over the coming decade. But it you peel away accounting tricks and debatable claims on spending cuts, it’s more like $1.1 trillion. Republicans say it’s even less because of creative bookkeeping used to mask spending on Medicare reimbursements to doctors.” Associated Press, “Candidates’ deficit plans don’t add up as government adds $1.1 trillion in debt,” October 1, 2012


“The repeated claim that Obama’s budget reduces the deficit by $4 trillion is simply not accurate… There are a number of other games being played, so fake money is being used to pay for real spending projects. In effect, most of Obama’s claimed deficit reduction comes from his proposed tax increases.” Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, “Fact checking Bill Clinton’s speech and other Democrats at the convention in Charlotte,” September 6, 2012


“There’s a good case to be made that Obama’s budget doesn’t actually hit the deficit-reduction target it’s implying that it hits.” Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, “Is Obama’s $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan for real?” September 6, 2012


“The federal debt, which recently hit $16 trillion, is projected to grow to $25.4 trillion by the year 2022 under Obama’s budget… Independent experts panned the president’s budget for its ‘troubling’ reliance on gimmicks and accounting tricks to inflate the magnitude of the savings being proposed.” Washington Free Beacon, “Phantom Savings,” September 28, 2012


“Obama exaggerated when he claimed ‘independent experts’ say his deficit-reduction plan would reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. Actually, one independent analysis criticized a central part of the president’s plan as a ‘gimmick.’” FactCheck.org, “FactChecking Obama and Biden,” September 14, 2012


“[President Obama] didn’t cut $1 trillion. Spending goes up over the next decade, not down… Only in Washington do people project spending to increase, then decide to increase it but by less, then say they cut spending.” McClatchy, “Obama claim of cutting spending is not right,” September 28, 2012


“I also worry that this plan doesn’t contain enough deficit reduction or entitlement reform. It does stabilize the debt, but at too high a level and in a way that isn’t robust over the long-run.” Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas, “CRFB Reacts To The President’s FY 2013 Budget,” February 13, 2012


“Mr. Obama cannot claim to be seeking anywhere near as much in debt reduction as his appointed commission said was needed to preserve the nation’s fiscal health.” Washington Post editorial board, “Obama’s debt reduction plan is not equal to Simpson-Bowles,” September 10, 2012


“You can’t find a $4 trillion number.” Douglas Holtz-Eakin in the Associated Press, “Candidates’ deficit plans don’t add up as government adds $1.1 trillion in debt,” October 1, 2012


“Unfortunately, [President Obama’s] proposal falls short of [$4 trillion in deficit reduction] by counting war savings that were already planned; and while it does (barely) stabilize the debt, it does so at a dangerously high level and with no margin for error.” Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, “Our advice to the debt supercommittee: Go big, be bold, be smart,” September 30, 2011


“Taken at face value, Barack Obama’s latest budget is a bold combination of fiscal rectitude, populist tax increases and industrial policy-lite… Do not take it at face value… Much of his purported spending reduction is accounting legerdemain.” The Economist, “Barack Obama’s budget,” February 13, 2012


“Independent budget experts said the blueprint that Obama unveiled Monday — which White House officials say would save more than $4 trillion when added to earlier budget deals this year — appears to fall short of his target. The plan also relies on an array of well-worn budget ploys that do little to advance the cause of bipartisan cooperation in taming the nation’s spiraling debt, the experts said.” Washington Post, “Budget analysts say Obama deficit plan is likely to miss its targets,” September 19, 2011