Obama's Long-Term Budget

How some of it will be paid for:

The budget accounts for increases in premiums paid by Medicare recipients earning more than $170,000 per year, and reducing the itemized deduction rate for families with incomes over $250,000 per year.

The fiscal discipline has almost no spending restraint in it:

He pledged to "go through our books . . . to eliminate waste and inefficiency" in the full budget that will come out this spring. But he said his administration already has identified "$2 trillion in deficit reductions that will help us cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term." Obama yesterday described the sum as "savings," but administration officials said about half the money comes in the form of tax increases, leading to today's change in terminology. A large chunk of the rest comes from measuring Obama's plans against an unrealistic scenario in which the Iraq war costs $170 billion a year indefinitely.

If you believe, as I do, that withdrawing from Iraq won't happen as promised, then there is close to no actual spending restraint anywhere in sight. We are being presented with what can only be described as a massive increase in government spending and power with the only fiscal balance being wringing much more money from the successful. The president predicted a tight budget and spending control in his non-SOTU, and he appealed to fiscal conservatives by promising a long-term attack on entitlement spending. I see nothing here yet that fulfills that promise.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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