The Associated Press' summary led with "Obama budget cuts deficits by $1.1 trillion" but, as Nick Gillespie points out, delving down into the actual numbers yields some worrying results. The short-term deficit is larger than the CBO's baseline, and the long-term budget only cuts the deficit relative to the baseline by - you guessed it - massive tax hikes.
Chiefly because of spending increases his budget proposes, Obama's fiscal plan would make next year's deficit $115 billion higher than the $560 billion shortfall that the budget office estimates for 2014 without the president's policies. Republicans criticized that and contrasted the $542 billion deficit Obama's budget would leave in 2023 with the spending plan approved by the GOP-run House, which relies on deep spending cuts to achieve balance by that year.
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.
Moreover, the largest spending cut in President Obama's budget comes from winding down overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A quirk of the federal budget causes the CBO to assume that OCOs would never cease. So President Obama uses the over $600 billion in budget "savings" from winding down overseas wars and puts it towards more spending programs. In total, as the AP reported, there's $172 billion in spending cuts - which means that most of that war draw-down "savings" are put towards more spending.
President Obama's budget is pretty typical for what we know about his economic philosophy. He's a Keynesian, which means the short-term deficit reduction makes sense. He also doesn't think that America's long-term entitlement problems are actually problems that need addressing - so his failure to address them, and then allow budget deficits and debt to rise in the medium- and long-term, also makes sense. While you may have read that President Obama's budget gets the deficit under control, it's mostly a one-time occasion that is predicated by an economic recovery and President Obama's tax hikes.
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