The Agenda

Keith Hennessey on the Difference Between $2.9 Trillion and $4 Trillion

Keith Hennessey explains why President Obama’s claims regarding his plan for deficit reduction merit closer scrutiny.

First, the Obama White House is using a 12-year timeframe rather than the standard 10-year timeframe for achieving $4 trillion in deficit reduction. Hennessey cites a passage from Bob Woodward explaining that Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and a veteran of the Clinton White House, made the case that the public wouldn’t pay close attention to the use of a 12-year timeframe rather than a 10-year timeframe, and so the president could make his $4 trillion deficit reduction proposal sound comparable to proposals that achieve the same amount of deficit reduction over a decade, despite the fact that his proposal anticipates achieving $2.9 trillion over that period of time.   

Second, Hennessey explains that the president is including deficit reduction measures that have already been approved in his $4 trillion total.

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Update on Alfie Evans

In the few hours since I sent in the piece below, a remarkable succession of events has occurred that paint the decision of the UK authorities in ever-bleaker colors. In the hospital, Alfie was removed from the respirator in accordance with the court’s decision. For the moment, however, he has continued ... Read More
Sports

Hurray for the NBA

Last month, just before the Final Four, I did a Q&A on college basketball with our Theodore Kupfer. Teddy K. is back, by popular demand, joined by two other experts: Vivek Dave, an old friend of mine from Michigan, who has long lived in Chicago, and David French, National Review’s Kentucky Kid, now ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More
Culture

Monday Links

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions. Can You Solve These 10 Medieval Riddles? The cost to make a Margherita pizza: $1.77. How much restaurants charge on average for a pizza: $12. The actual costs of restaurant foods. Vintage animation lessons -- how to make things cute. London's "Great ... Read More
World

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More