The Obama budget | FT Alphaville

The Obama budget

It’s out, and you can find the overview here.

The highlights:


— In the Budget Control Act, both parties in Congress and the President agreed to tight spending caps that reduce discretionary spending by $1 trillion over 10 years. This budget reflects that decision. Thus, for all the priority areas we are investing in, difficult trade-offs had to be made to meet these very tight caps.

— Discretionary spending is reduced from 8.7 percent of GDP in 2011 to 5.0 percent in 2022.

— Including the $1 trillion in discretionary cuts, the Budget includes more than $4 trillion in balanced, deficit reduction so that, by 2018, we cut the deficit to less than 3 percent of GDP, stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio, and achieve primary balance.

— For every $1 in new revenue from those making more than $250,000 per year and from closing corporate loopholes, the Budget has $2.50 in spending cuts including the deficit reduction enacted over the last year.

— 2012 Projected Deficit: $1.33 trillion, 8.5 percent of GDP; 2013 Projected Deficit: $901 billion, 5.5 percent of GDP; 2018 Projected Deficit: $575 billion, 2.7 percent of GDP; 2022 Projected Deficit: $704 billion, 2.8 percent of GDP.

Wonkblog had the best summary of the main points this morning, and we also liked Atlantic Wire’s list of the items that have a reasonable chance of actually getting passed. The most immediately urgent among them, of course, are the extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

We’ve previously discussed the various fiscal policy matters that are likely to arise towards the end of this year, so we found this part of Wonkblog’s summary to be especially interesting (emphasis ours):

Are we going to get comprehensive tax reform this year? I wouldn’t bet on it. But the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts makes it more likely than it would otherwise be. And while the Obama administration won’t present a detailed vision for tax reform, they will present a more detailed set of negotiating principles for it. Ten months from now, if Congress decides to try and resolves the Bush tax cuts by reforming the tax code, that section of the budget could come to matter quite a bit.

Related links:
Fiscal flailing, continued – FT Alphaville
Fiscal flailing – FT Alphaville
What awaits you, Mr President(-elect?) – FT Alphaville