Republicans are calling the president’s budget “one of the most spectacular fiscal cover-ups in American history.” On a conference call with reporters Monday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) slammed the president’s budget as a failed attempt to confront the mounting debt crisis, and a worrisome abdication of leadership.
“Instead of creating an America built to the last, this is a plan for an America drowning in debt,” Ryan said. “This is not a fiscal plan to save America from a debt crisis and grow the economy. It is a political plan to help the president’s reelection.”
“This budget lulls the American people into the belief that the concerns, their concerns are being taken care of, when they are not,” Sessions said. “It’s just not correct for the president to be claiming massive reduction in deficits when his projections maintain the same levels of debt.”
Under Obama’s proposal, federal spending will rise from $3.8 trillion in 2013 to $5.8 trillion in 2022, an increase of 53 percent. He plans to spend a total of $47 trillion over the next decade, adding a cumulative $6.7 trillion to the federal budget deficit. If enacted, the White House plan would increase the debt held by the public—the amount owed by American taxpayers—from $12.6 trillion to $19.4 trillion over that same period, a 54 percent increase. As a share of GDP, the public debt is projected to increase from 74.2 percent to 76.5 percent by the end of the 10-year budget window.
This substantial increase in debt-fueled spending notwithstanding, Obama sought to portray his latest budget as a sincere effort to reduce the deficit. “I’m proposing some difficult cuts that, frankly, I wouldn’t normally make if they weren’t absolutely necessary, but they are,” he told a crowd of supporters in Annandale, Va. “The truth is, we’re going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.” These “difficult cuts” and “tough choices,” the White House claims, would reduce the federal deficit by about $4 trillion by the year 2022.