The Democratic Budget: Unbalanced Balance?

Mar 12, 2013 3:13pm

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today explained that when the White House calls for a budget proposal that is “balanced” it is not actually calling for a balanced budget.

Let me explain.

The White House has long called for a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction that would include both tax increases and spending cuts. Carney has often pointed out that the President put out a proposal last year that would include cuts to projected spending on both Social Security and Medicare as well as tax increases.

ap jay carney jef 130312 wblog The Democratic Budget: Unbalanced Balance?

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

So, I asked Carney today if the White House expects – or hopes – that the budget to be released Wednesday by Senate Democrats would include the entitlement cuts proposed by the President. The exchange produced an unusual discussion of unbalanced balance and – for the first time, the White House said the President’s upcoming budget will not be a balanced budget:

KARL: Do you expect — do you hope when the Senate Democrats release their budget tomorrow that it has entitlement reforms along the lines of what the president has proposed?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I will wait for the budget to be put forward, and Senator Murray to do that. We do expect it to be balanced, that — to have the principle of balance inherent in its proposals. If it’s not — and I don’t expect it will be — in agreement on every item of the president’s proposal, it will be consistent with the president’s balanced approach, we expect. …

KARL: When we say balanced, you don’t mean balanced –

MR. CARNEY: I mean a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes asking everyone to pay their share.

Q: But it will not be a balanced budget –

MR. CARNEY: No, what the president’s budget proposal will do, as his previous proposals have done, is achieve the economically important goal of bringing our debt-to-GDP down below 3 percent.

 

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