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President Barack Obama meets with bipartisan House and Senate Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss his upcoming fiscal policy speech, April 13, 2011. Seated with the President from left are: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Mitch McC
Something for these guys to keep in mind in the next round.
The Center for American Progress has a pretty important reminder for policy-makers going into the next round of deficit-reduction talks: They've already done a lot, and most of it has been in cuts.
Pie chart showing composition of deficit reduction since FY2011
Since the start of fiscal year 2011, President Barack Obama has signed into law approximately $2.4 trillion of deficit reduction for the years 2013 through 2022. Nearly three-quarters of that deficit reduction is in the form of spending cuts, while the remaining one-quarter comes from revenue increases. (see Figure 1) As a result of that deficit reduction, the projected rise in debt levels from today through 2022 has decreased by nearly 10 full percentage points of gross domestic product. In fact, under today’s policies, debt levels in 2022—as a share of GDP—will be only slightly higher than they are expected to be by the end of next year. [...]

So where does all this deficit reduction leave us? Since the start of fiscal year 2011, Congress and the president have cut about $1.5 trillion in programmatic spending, raised about $630 billion in new revenue, and generated about $300 billion in interest savings, for a combined total of more than $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction. The result is a substantial cut in how much publicly held debt the country is expected to hold 10 years from now. Instead of reaching nearly 93 percent of GDP, debt is now projected to total about 83 percent of GDP—fully 10 points lower. And while that won’t be enough to finally put the budget onto sustainable footing, it is a massive improvement. In fact, it’s about two-thirds of the way toward stabilizing the debt-to-GDP ratio.

That's pretty significant deficit reduction already, particularly considering the still-shaky economic situation of the country. Given the really lopsided composition of that deficit reduction, perhaps the idea of "two dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in revenue" the White House has been pushing, as explained by Gene Sperling, should be flipped.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:04 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But it's not the government's money! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's corporation money that they've allowed the government to print up and pass to them.  For that reason, no amount of revenue increase is allowable, as that would just be extending the time necessary for the money to flow from corporations back to the government only to then be returned to the corporations through investments, grants, "loans - har, har, that's a good one!", debt forgiveness and pallets on wooden crates in unguarded airplane hangars.

  •  Yeah, this drives me nuts. (0+ / 0-)

    All those massive cuts (with no additional revenue) passed before this latest round seem to have been forgotten.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:28:11 PM PST

  •  It's not about deficit reduction, and it never was (9+ / 0-)

    Deficit hysteria, the Cat Food Commission, the debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff – these are all "crisis" situations engineered with one goal in mind: cutting government spending.

    Let's recognize the situation for what it is.

  •  we know where this is going... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    midwesterner, skyounkin, Mark Mywurtz
    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., Sunday said he will not accept any new revenue in future deals with congressional Democrats and President Obama....
    “But the biggest problem we have at the moment is spending and debt,” McConnell said.

    so revenue is off the table, gee i wonder what they'll decide to
  •  Thank President Obama's 'fiscal cliff' deal (7+ / 0-)

    Much/most of the Bush tax cuts actually went to the middle class if you do the math out in actual dollars, mainly because there are so many middle classers and so few rich people.

    Instead of doing the sensible thing and just letting all the tax cuts expire back to the Clinton rates, the Obama administration made this ridiculous deal to make most of the tax cuts permanent (!), probably assuring our fiscal doom.

    And even "better", we've already raised taxes on the rich, so there will be little appetite to do that again (maybe a little here and there, but at this point there is little reason to think we're going to gain much in the way of revenue that way... we're short 5% of GDP or so).

    So when even more savage cuts start coming, don't blame the Republicans. We just blew our last best chance to make up the shortfall with revenues, all to avoid some temporary economic pain to the vaunted middle class.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:19:00 PM PST

  •  There have been NO revenue increases (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, bluezen, Lily O Lady, taonow

    only a return to previous tax rates...

    Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

    by walk2live on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:18:30 PM PST

    •  Not true... (0+ / 0-)

      3.8% increase in tax on investment income
      0.9% increase in payroll tax

      And if you live in California, a 33% increase in the top tax rate.

      These are real increases....not considering the increase to 39.6% for

  •  pie chart! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady


    Republicans are penny wise and pound foolish.

    by Krush on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:25:08 PM PST

  •  What is meant by programmatic spending cuts? (0+ / 0-)

    anyone know?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:33:11 PM PST

  •  According to what? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    temptxan, tardis10, Yo Bubba, divineorder

    I'm inundated with numbers which I'm sure tally up according to what and who they tally this data. Mean while back in real life why do my groceries cost 40$ per bag and my other expenses just keep rising and yet I'm told working itself is a privilege and I should sacrifice my basic existence to keep the wealth creating Visigoths obscenely profitable. For What? and for who. A bunch of crooks that pawn this screw off as 'the world as we find it'? Why would any ordinary person think this con game was something to support let alone declare we won. Empires crumble walls go down when people figure out that this simply does not pay.      

  •  You see...a balanced approach...with shared (5+ / 0-)


    Great deals so far!!


    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:35:34 PM PST

  •  All about debt & deficit... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As if Occupied never even happened. Like income disparity is taken care of by raising taxes on the rich a couple percentage points. Like the Deficit even matters if the goal is a strong economy or higher overall employment. Not even having the right argument. Leave it to the media and the Republicans and that's all they'll ever talk about.

    "If that's what Fallujah is, then what's that band with all the Mexican kids in it?"

    by iSenseChange on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:40:41 PM PST

  •  Obama="Smallest Govt. Spender since Ike"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, temptxan

     Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck...

    ...than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower...

    So, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole “Obama as big spender” narrative?

    It might have something to do with the first year of the Obama presidency where the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9% —going from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. I’ll bet you think that this is the result of the Obama sponsored stimulus plan that is so frequently vilified by the conservatives…but you would be wrong.

    The first year of any incoming president term is saddled—for better or for worse—with the budget set by the president whom immediately precedes the new occupant of the White House. Indeed, not only was the 2009 budget the property of George W. Bush—and passed by the 2008 Congress—it was in effect four months before Barack Obama took the oath of office.


    Why the WH & the Dems don't make the GOPers own this is beyond me.  

  •  austerity by another name (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, divineorder

    and the leaders of both parties agree to austerity, they only differ on exactly how to implement it.

    here we go... great recession (depression) part 2 coming soon... part 2 so the money and power gap between the powerful and the 99% can grow even more immense.

  •  Not a surprise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, taonow, Not A Bot

    As progressive as we'd like this president to be he is a centrist at best. Really, a moderate republican who happens to be pro-choice and open to LBGT rights.

    The republicans have moved so far to the right that Obama is considered to be on the left and we end up with this, with bailouts for banks instead of people, etc, etc, etc.

    The nine most terrifying words in the english language . . . "I'm George Bush, we're here to liberate your country"

    by TiredOfGOPLies on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:59:06 PM PST

  •  These deficit #'s include pre-existing interest? (0+ / 0-)

    Since conservatives often claim Clinton never had a "real" surplus, because the debt kept climbing.  

    Ignoring that was because of interest on debt his predecessors piled up, not deficit spending on Clinton's watch, IIRC.

  •  understand your points but (0+ / 0-)

    1. Anyone that puts any faith in 10 year projections needs their head examined. Even the communists stick to 5 year plans. 10 years just allows all the pain to be shifted well past the next election ... by when a new 10 year plan will undo the last one.
    2. The US debt to gdp ratio is already over 100%! It is a simple calculation ... just make sure you count all the official debt. Total debt o/s is 16.4trillion. US economy is about 15.8 trillion as of q3 2012 .... so debt to gdp is over 100% already .... now if you don,t want to count the SS Trust fund ... well....
    3. I can easily make the deficit go away too. It is all in the assumptions on growth, unemployment etc. Look at those and tell me you trust the projections ... I don,t.

    Basically this whole thing is a game to keep things afloat a bit longer. There has not been, nor will there be any serious attempt to really restructure. Real reform would be far to painful for the elites ... so we just get more circuses and less bread.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:13:17 PM PST

  •  To be fair to Gene Sperling (0+ / 0-)

    That article says he wants the sequester to be 1:1 tax to spending ratio so the FINAL ratio of deficit reduction done since 2011 is 2:1. So he isn't talking about that being the ratio going forward. That being said, I agree with your basic point. Frankly I think 2:1 for the final package was too generous.

  •  Not finished looting yet, Mr. President? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zaka1, Frisbeetarian, jfern

    $2 in cuts for $1 in spending. When you're awash in Nobel-prize-winning economists who are telling you that the deficit is not really the problem, and that cutting spending is dangerous. Hell, you even have some guys from the IMF telling you that. Never mind! More cuts! More cuts! Beef up that bipartisan, austere image!

    Even though you've already cut domestic non-security discretionary spending to the bone. Any Republican who had proposed cuts such as yours would have been pilloried. But never mind! More cuts! More cuts! Beef up that bipartisan, austere, across-the-aisle comity!

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:41:20 PM PST

  •  Sucks.. (0+ / 0-)

    I was really hoping taxing the rich would save ourselves from the massive annual deficits.   What other group of people can we milk from before things get worse than they already are?

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:05:10 PM PST

  •  It's hard to rec (0+ / 0-)

    your dairies McJoan as they tend to reflect the truth. Hard in the sense that I wish it was not so. However as this place is billed as reality based Democratic webblog I thank you for both the good  the badand the ugly.

    Two thirds cuts and these cuts are in spending. I find it hard to reconcile the cuts and the revenue. The corporations who are now people and own the place are still demanding we balance the sacrifice picking up the tab for their debts. These debts do not do anything beneficial to our society. They are debts from wars that never were for anything other then geopolitical insanity and are illegal and invoke the preemptive Bush Doctrine to give them validity. They come under the GWOT which is just nothing but freaking irrational fear of other bs. weirdness and smacks of Orwell.

    Then the rest of our public monies goes to the NWO global pillagers who proclaim they are inevitable and the way forward. Meanwhile pay my hedge fund  gambling debts or we will lay your world to waste. Great no wonder people feel caught they are. Neither party is advocating a democratic equitable  way forward as they do not represent me you or the universal laws of civilization.  Instead we get a doctrine a ideology that is neither democratic or humane and it's touted as the inevitable way forward. So step right up and weigh in about what are you willing to 'sacrifice' to keep the intolerable status quo firmly in place, after all it's pragmatic.        


  •  Worth noting, for perspective (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We would have been $30 billion better off from a revenue perspective by keeping the marginal income tax rates where they were in 2012, but letting Bush tax rates on capital gains, estates, and dividends completely expire.

    Here's how I come to that conclusion:

    According to this article that Joan posted, new revenue in the fiscal cliff deal is $630 billion, which I presume is pretty much all from the income tax rates that will be higher in 2013 than they were in 2012.

    Meanwhile, we have new capital gains/estate/dividend tax rates that are a result of them being included in the deal instead of them not being addressing in the deal. It turns out that choosing to include them in the deal represents lost revenues of $660 billion. Going to the webpage I link to below starts download of a PDF showing those numbers, for any who might be curious.

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