It wasn't all that long ago that President Obama used to talk earnestly about the need for a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction. You might figure that a balanced approach would mean matching every $1 in spending cuts with a $1 in tax revenue, but Obama was actually more draconian. Last fall, he trotted out a plan that was supposed to cut $2.50 in spending for every $1 raised in new taxes.
But that was then (and, needless to say, he never spelled out any cuts). The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently scored his latest deficit-reduction proposal, which theoretically cuts $1.1 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years. Here's the breakdown:
The congressional report said to achieve his $1.1 trillion in savings over the next decade, Obama relies on $974 billion in higher revenue and $172 billion in spending cuts. That is nearly a 6-1 ratio.
Obama's major revenue-raising proposals include limiting some deductions and exclusions for some higher-earning taxpayers, raising $493 billion over the decade; boosting tobacco taxes by $83 billion; and raising estate and gift taxes by $77 billion, the budget office said.
The one good thing in Obama's budget is that he pushes for the "chained" CPI to slow the growth of Social Security payments. Unlike the House Republican and Senate Democrat budget plans, Obama at least factors in necessary (if way too timid and small) reforms of old-age entitlements that are genuinely awful and inefficient (and terribly unfair to younger Americans).
But come on: a 6-to-1 edge to taxes over spending cuts? Whatever you want to call it, that ain't balanced.