President Obama’s budget arguments are a series of red herrings. Asked about the cumulative deficits estimated at $9.3 trillion from 2009-2018 by the CBO, he says that Republican critics have a “short memory” because he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit for this year. Yes, but his budget would drive that number up to $1.8 trillion. He then says that he’ll cut the deficit in half — but of course, if you drive the deficit up to $1.8 trillion, it’s a lot easier to cut it in half. He says that the CBO estimates for his deficit are higher because they assume lower GDP growth than his administration, but even taking that into account, his budget proposals would cause a deeper deficit relative to the CBO’s baseline numbers if current laws were followed. Asked about how deficits spike up again in the later years — even under his administration’s own budget numbers — he said that it’s too hard to estimate that far, that “adjustments” will be made along the way, and that all of his magical health care and energy savings will kick in, in the fairytale future.
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