The Corner

Denting the Deficit

Even the editorial board of the Washington Post isn’t impressed with Obama’s fiscal-responsability plan. This morning they write:

PRESIDENT OBAMA is requiring government agencies to find $100 million in savings. Next year’s budget deficit will be $1.4 trillion. The new reductions would generate savings equal to 0.007 percent of that — something like trying to deal with a $5,000 credit card debt by forgoing a pack of gum.

We understand the importance of symbolism, and we’re all for telling the Department of Homeland Security, as Mr. Obama did, that the $3 million it has given to consultants to come up with new logos is more than enough. The trouble is not this acknowledged drop in the bucket; the trouble is that Mr. Obama is simultaneously emptying the bucket a lot faster with spending proposals and a reluctance to take steps to really dent the deficit.

So far, so good. Unfortunately, they go on to propose a list of things that Obama could do to reduce the deficit and with one exception they are all bad ideas:

– Raise the Social Security retirement age beyond the slated increase to 67 to 68. . . .

– Change the tax treatment of health insurance. . . .

– Reduce farm subsidies, which run well over $10 billion most years. . . .

– Reduce Social Security benefits for the well-off while protecting those who depend on the program. . . .

– Raise gas taxes, untouched since 1993, or establish a tax on vehicle miles traveled to help pay for the roads and rails that need rebuilding. . . .

Read the whole thing here.

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