Government Spending

3 Must-See Charts About Obama's Budget


Here are three charts prepared by Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy that are drawn from President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2013.

The first chart tallies up Obama's proposed spending and proposed "spending cuts" over the next decade. The spending is easy to calculate. The spending cuts are a little more dicey. Obama has said he will trim possible future debt by $4 trillion in this budget. About $1.5 trillion of that total will come from tax increases, so the other $2.5 trillion will come from foregone outlays. [Note: an earlier version of this first chart was mislabeled. The current title is correct; sorry for any confusion.]

This chart adds up the increase in debt held by the public over the next decade if everything goes according to Obama's plan. Though the president likes to stress the need to be responsible in fiscal matters, debt will increase by at around $8 trillion over the coming 10 years.

I find the chart below to be the most interesting of the bunch. Budget plans always include projections of outlays, revenues, shortfalls, etc. The blue bars represent Obama's projections of deficits in the budget he submitted for fiscal year 2010. The red bars are the actual deficits and, in the case of 2012 and 2013, the projections in this year's budget. In 2010 and 2011, the deficits were worse than projected. And the new projections for 2012 and 2013 are worse than what Obama figured they would be in 2010. Which hardly fills you with enthusiasm or confidence about his ability to figure out the budget, right?

Go here to read highlights of the plan and to access the full budget document.