President Obama released his annual budget today, and it’s already being blasted by the GOP as chock full of gimmicks and faulty accounting. Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, called the plan “one of the most spectacular fiscal cover-ups in American history.”
According to the Republicans on the committee, it includes $1.9 trillion in new taxes, adds $11 trillion to the debt, and includes a net increase of spending over the current projections. It also falsely claims to cut the debt by $4 trillion but only reduces it by $273 billion, say Republicans:
- It does not count the cost of replacing the $1.2 trillion sequester (spending reduction plus interest savings) required under current law. This is plainly true because the president eliminates the reductions required by the law that he signed and replaces it with tax increases. Then he fails to score the cost of repeal, a monumental deception.
- It counts the inevitable winding down of the war costs in Afghanistan—all of which is borrowed—as $1 trillion in spending reduction; and
- It buries the $522 billion cost of freezing the Medicare physician update in the baseline, without identifying any source of funds to pay for it.
On a conference call today, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan slammed the president’s plan as a purely political move that does nothing to address the country’s fiscal problems. “This is not a fiscal plan to save America from a debt crisis,” said Ryan. “It’s a political plan for the president’s re-election.”
According to Ryan, the plan will lead America to the point of painful forced austerity. Sessions, who was also on the call, said the idea that “next year the United States could be like Greece” may not be so far off.
Ryan promised that House Republicans will address the debt crisis in their budget plan, and said they will present the public with a clear choice between congressional Republicans and the Obama administration.