Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Breaking down Obama's deficit-reduction speech: Parts were misleading and confusing

Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post believes certain statements from President Obama's speech about taxes and spending on Monday may be "misleading and probably confusing" for many Americans, so he breaks down major points from the speech and examines the facts behind them.

Obama claimed his plan would cut $2 in spending for every $1 gained in revenue. Kessler says that depends upon how you define the "baseline for spending." He reports that Obama is including $1.09 trillion in savings from ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but this same measure was included in Obama's February budget and he never intended to spend this money in the first place. An unnamed administration official argued to Kessler the earlier budget was never enacted, so this still counts as a cut.

The president also said the American Jobs Act would not add to the national debt, but that is untrue in the short-term. Kessler found the bill would add $303 billion to the deficit, but would slowly start to decrease it around 2013 and pick up speed in subsequent years. Kessler notes that those future numbers are all estimates and would depend on decisions of future Congresses. (Read more)

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