Politics
President Barack Obama gesturing at a business roundtable meeting. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images. President Barack Obama gesturing at a business roundtable meeting. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images.  

Sessions: Obama’s cliff plan is a debt weight

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The White House’s latest deficit-reduction budget plan will boost spending and debt over the next decade, and also do little for the annual deficits, says Sen. Jeff Sessions, the GOP’s Senate budget chief.

The president’s proposed $1.6 trillion tax hike, if enacted, would only trim $400 billion from planned borrowing because most of the extra revenues would be used for new spending, the Budget Committee’s ranking member said.

“If we end up with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, we can expect that the [10-year] deficit would go up $8.6 trillion, instead of [the] $9 trillion” expected under the current 10-year plan, Sessions said in a Dec. 6 floor speech.

The extra $9 trillion in deficit spending will boost the national debt to a colossal $25 trillion by 2022. That’s $76,000 per person, assuming a population of 330 million.

White House officials, including the president, rarely mention the 10-year spending totals, the cumulative deficits, or the current $16 trillion national debt whenever they pitch their tax-and-spend response to the “fiscal cliff” tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013.

Instead, Obama and his deputies talk about relatively small-scale numbers and family budgets.

“If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on Jan. 1 … [and] a typical middle-class family of four would see their income taxes go up by about $2,200,” Obama said at a Nov. 30 event in Pennsylvania.

“The president is engaged in this process because he believes broad-based deficit reduction to the tune of $4 trillion over 10 years is a desirable thing to achieve for the economy, for the American people,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Dec. 5.

Those numbers are accompanied by poll-tested terms that draw attention away from the huge scale of the planned spending and debts.

In his Dec. 6 press conference, Carney described the president’s budget as “balanced” seven times. He also used “wealthy” or “wealthiest” 11 times, “family” nine times and “reduction” 15 times.

The administration’s “$4 trillion” 10-year plan was presented Nov. 29 to Republicans.

It called for a tax increase worth $1.6 trillion over ten years.

It also called for an $800 billion cut in medical spending, but adds back $1.2 trillion of spending that was cut in the 2011 budget deal.

It also assumed savings of $800 billion that won’t be spent on the campaign in Afghanistan because Obama is pulling troops out in 2014, and it ignored an expected $400 billion payment — dubbed the “doc fix” — that is set to offset cumulative cuts to doctors’ payments.

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