GOP leaders dismiss Obama’s budget plan

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Republican budget leaders dismissed President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget plan as mess of fiscal gimmicks, shirked duties, accounting flim-flam and escalating debt.

The 10-year budget claims to cut $1.8 trillion from future borrowing, but actually trims only $119 billion from the 10-year, $46.5 trillion spending plan, Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House’s budget committee, said April 10.

The removal of the budget tricks “knocks you down to $119 [billion] in actual deficit reduction,” he said.

Promised spending reductions are also postponed way into the future, Ryan said. Obama’s budget writers “don’t even start deficit reduction until four years after he’s left office,” he said.

“We are not seeing responsible leadership,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, chairman of the Senate’s budget committee. The administration is “under the mis-impression that deficit don’t matter [and] that they can continue to borrow and spend.”

In his Rose Garden speech today, Obama touted his budget, saying “the numbers work. There’s not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here.”

He requested for 2014 spending of $3.77 trillion in 2014 spending. The extra funds would provide national daycare, research centers, more immigration centers and much else favored by Obama and his Democratic coalition.

His budget request was accompanied by a 10-year plan that claimed to reduce future deficit spending by $1.8 trillion via some budget cuts and $600 million in tax increases. The proposed new taxes include taxes on savers, inheritances and charitable donations.

But staffers working for Ryan and Sessions said Obama’s budget includes a pretense that the U.S. will continue high-level combat in Afghanistan.

The pretense allows the president to say he is cutting $675 billion that will not actually happen.

The 10-year plan also pretends the government will not pay $250 billion for the so-called “doc fix” to prior Medicare spending cuts, and excluded $300 billion in planned spending from final calculations.

The budget requests assumed that various long-term tax breaks for business approved by Obama and the GOP in January will not continue past 2019, the staffers said. The assumption that the tax breaks would be dropped allowed officials to trim the 10-year deficit by $161 billion.

The budget also gives two very different estimates for the amount of new debt Obama expects to create.

On page 183, a chart shows the 10-year deficit to be $5.3 trillion. On page 184, the 10-year deficit is set at $6.7 trillion, the staffer said.

In fact, Obama’s 10-year plan would increase spending by $1.1 billion, impose $1.2 trillion in new taxes and fees, and add $8.2 trillion in new debt to our country over the next 10 years, said Sessions.

That $8.2 trillion would boost the government’s debt to $25.4 trillion in 2023.

That’s roughly $160,000 of debt for each of the 150 million Americans in the labor force.

In his Rose garden speech, Obama claimed to be a fiscal moderate, and to support a “balanced” deficit trimming strategy. But, said Sessions, his “balanced approach is to raise taxes, raise spending and raise the debt.”

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