President Obama will, very shortly, announce his plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. That’s the same amount of savings called for by the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission, only with one glaring exception: Bowles-Simpson achieved those savings over 10 years, while Obama will propose doing it over 12 years. Philip Klein explains:
This is a clear and deliberate deception by the Obama administration. His Fiscal Commission set the $4 trillion target last year, which Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., upped to $4.4 trillion in his plan.
So Obama knew he had to get somewhere in that neighborhood to be taken seriously. Evidently, the numbers didn’t add up, so his administration stretched the baseline to 12 years, hoping that headline writers would use the $4 trillion number, and the average person who doesn’t follow budgeting conventions that closely wouldn’t know the difference.
As Klein also points out, this is hardly the first time Obama has engaged such obvious time-window dressing. Without it, Obamacare would have been laughed out of the Congressional Budget Office.