Sessions: Obama’s cliff plan is a debt weight

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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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.


Instead of cutting spending or lowering debt, the plan would increase spending over the decade, even as the tax-increase also trims the expected extra debt of $9 trillion by roughly 5 percent, or $400 billion, Sessions said.

“Our spending is growing … [and] the president’s proposal is to have it grow even faster than the budget currently calls for,” he said.

White House talking points also obscure the scale of budget spending.

In 2000, the federal budget was $2.39 trillion, when counted in 2012 dollars, according to data from Session’s committee.

In 2008, the federal government spent $3 trillion in 2012 dollars.

By 2012, Obama had pushed it up to $3.8 trillion in 2012 dollars.

Spending should reach $4.77 trillion in 2022, according to the budget proposal submitted by Obama in early 2012.

That plan predicts that the federal government will spend a cumulative total of $46 trillion during the decade from 2012.

That 10-year spending of $46 trillion includes roughly $9 trillion in borrowed funds.

That borrowed $9 trillion will boost the national debt from $16.3 trillion to $25 trillion.

In his first term, Obama helped add $5.7 trillion in debt to the nation’s taxpayers, or $19,000 per person. That’s an extra debt of $100,000 for the household of five people Obama showcased Dec. 6 as he pushed his fiscal-cliff plan.

“I want to, first of all, just thank Tiffany and Richard … for opening up their beautiful home to us,” Obama told reporters gathered at the press event in Falls Church, Va. The couple live with their child and Tiffany’s two working parents.

“Tiffany pointed out … that an increase of $2,000 or so for her and her husband in this household would actually mean $4,000 … a couple of thousand dollars means a couple months’ rent for this family,” Obama said.

Obama did not mention the family’s share of the national debt.

Nor did he mention that Obama’s planned extra debt of $9 trillion by 2022 would add $28,000 of debt per person, and boost the household’s share of the national debt to almost $250,000.

That level of debt will tax the family’s ability to launch their single child into an increasingly competitive world, and threaten health-care spending for the grandparents.

For Sessions, the president’s budget plan is just a stealth spending plan.

“The proposal that is put out there is a huge tax increase… and the money is being gobbled up with new spending,” he said.

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