Obama’s Non-Budget

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Fred Barnes reports:

Following [Obama's] speech [last week], an aide to Ryan contacted the budget office at the White House. The president had been vague about how he’d achieve his goals for cutting spending and reducing debt. So the Ryan staffer asked for specifics. Where did the numbers come from? What were the assumptions? What was the spending baseline? Could the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculate the cost of Obama’s plan?

He got no answers. The Ryan aide was referred to the president’s budget, released in February, a budget the speech seemed to supersede. For more information, he was told to contact the White House press office, which pointed him to a “fact sheet.” It was a press release with few facts.

Paul Krugman, by the way, wrote in his post-speech column that “Mr. Obama laid out a budget plan that really is serious.” And as he has regularly informed us in recent weeks, Krugman knows how to read budgets.

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