A preview of President Obama's speech on deficit reduction: Congressional sources say the...


A preview of President Obama's speech on deficit reduction: Congressional sources say the President will set a goal to reduce the budget deficit to 2.5% of GDP by 2015 and 2% near the end of the decade, saving $4T over the next 12 years or less. Speech is at 1:35 ET. Watch here live.

Comments (25)
  • Dogpound
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    Such a lofty goal...by 2020 still spending more than you take in. Saving 4 Trillion!!!!! Spin is a wonderful thing.

     

    When did praise of mediocrity and failure become common place and acceptable.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • warrenrial
    , contributor
    Comments (550) | Send Message
     
    Just more of Obama's lies as usual.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    The man sure can deliver a good speech.

     

    Unfortunately, that is as far as all these lofty hopes and promises are ever going to get under our currently warped political system.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1550) | Send Message
     
    Disgusting. Forecasting the actual cost of government programs as well as revenue levels is notoriously difficult even a few months into the future. Instead of "setting a goal" of having perpetual deficits, it would be much safer to establish a hard requirement that each budget be balanced as determined by best-effort nonpartisan forecasts. That at least allows for some margin of safety should those forecasts prove optimistic. It's also a much less weaselly expression than merely establishing a goal, which as we all know can easily be explained away as a failure or a change in plans or things "just plain not working out". What weak, spineless leadership these guys are providing!
    13 Apr 2011, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • bbro
    , contributor
    Comments (11216) | Send Message
     
    We will know something is happening when the 58% of over 65 Kentuckians
    that voted for Rand Paul are unhappy because their government
    benefits are cut....
    13 Apr 2011, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • Swass
    , contributor
    Comments (419) | Send Message
     
    How can anyone take these clowns in Washington seriously? Reduce the "deficit"? How about not have one? .. and why do people, like the President, who are put in positions of great responsibility, not go beyond that and show how we're going to actually pay down our debt?
    13 Apr 2011, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • Tony Petroski
    , contributor
    Comments (6356) | Send Message
     
    We should pass a law requiring these speeches to take place after the market closes--he always sends it reeling.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Dogpound
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    It will be our mission, by the end of the decade, to almost put a man on the moon.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16262) | Send Message
     
    The moon?

     

    We couldn't replace the World Trade Center in a decade. At some point, 1969's events will recede into myth.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Dogpound
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    Doesn't it already seem like a myth? Man kind used to be amazing, now we are just pathetic.
    13 Apr 2011, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9113) | Send Message
     
    In 2015 we cut; but today, cut nothing. What a phony.
    13 Apr 2011, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3527) | Send Message
     
    How is it that we added trillions in debt in just two years but we can't go back and cut the expenses that gave us that debt until the end of the decade?
    13 Apr 2011, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1550) | Send Message
     
    Because government spending is a ratchet. It can be increased arbitrarily, but never decreased because eliminating things means firing legions of government employees who can then be assured of voting against those responsible. There are now so many government employees that they can easily swing an election one way or the other. So the only way to cut the deficit is to wait for enough growth to happen to offset the added spending, while not introducing any new programs or bureaucracies. That's what the Republicans mean when they talk about "cutting". No one in office or with serious aspirations to office actually means decreasing the absolute level of spending from one year to the next.
    13 Apr 2011, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3413) | Send Message
     
    The only way to get re-election off the minds of politicians and onto making critical decisions is to pull the rug out from beneath their feet. Term them out in 12 years followed by 6 years of benchsitting before any new attempt at congress or the senate.
    13 Apr 2011, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1550) | Send Message
     
    I like the idea in principle, but it hasn't worked in California. There are too few officeholders in their final term to make much of a difference, and in any case they don't seem to have any interest in making cuts. It's slightly different in that California is dangerously close to single-party rule, but the general lack of correlation between being in one's last term and acting sensibly is still telling.

     

    No one has yet found a cure for the disease of people voting for politicians who pay them from the public purse.
    13 Apr 2011, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3413) | Send Message
     
    i agree about California, except I would call it one-party rule, but I also think one party rule has more to do with things that are more to do with the electorate specific to California. I truly expect California will get it together sooner than will the Federal government.
    13 Apr 2011, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4579) | Send Message
     
    Great speech, it looks like he is putting tax reform on the agenda for 2012, can't wait, something needs to be done, just hope its not another Dodd-Frankism....

     

    2011's budget = the issue that will decide the next President.
    13 Apr 2011, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9113) | Send Message
     
    What are you smoking today?
    13 Apr 2011, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • warrenrial
    , contributor
    Comments (550) | Send Message
     
    You noticed he did not present his own budget. This guy should never be trusted.
    13 Apr 2011, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16262) | Send Message
     
    The proverbial liberal cure-all for everything: raise taxes. Oh, and they promise -- really, this time-- they'll cut spending, if you just trust them with more of your money.

     

    How's that worked out for us with them, or any politicians for that matter?
    13 Apr 2011, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4579) | Send Message
     
    He pointed out that only 12% of the budget is being debated for spending cuts and that more needs to be on the table.

     

    I think especially in light of

     

    www.rollingstone.com/p...

     

    and

     

    www.marketwatch.com/st...

     

    We need to get serious about real tax reform, real spending cuts, is there anyone who doesn't think the tax system is busted?

     

    I suspect both sides will come up with outrageous budget proposals just so they have a bargaining position to back away from, but the fact that tax reform is on the table is a good thing.

     

    Let's clean the thing up, alternative minimum tax, mtg tax deduction, all the loopholes, I look forward to it.
    13 Apr 2011, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16262) | Send Message
     
    Call it "reform" or any moniker one wishes, but anything that further feeds the "Beast" will result in dismal failure.
    13 Apr 2011, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1550) | Send Message
     
    The most fundamental question that needs to be answered in all this is at the heart of some of the most inflammatory assertions made on all sides: what does it mean to be "rich", "poor", or "middle-class"? In all the rhetoric, the only definition one ever sees is "families making less than $250k a year" are thought not to be rich, at least when defining rich as a set of people whose taxes ought or ought not to be increased. But this is itself extremely vague: what if you're single? What's a family? What subsidy or penalty is implied for marriage? Does the figure mean AGI or something else? What assumptions are being made about adjustments? And so on. Perhaps the greatest source of inequity arises from the drastic differences in the cost of living across the country; a person whose AGI was $100,000 last year may have been able to support a fairly lavish lifestyle in some places or been forced to live very modestly in others. Someone living in a high-cost location and supporting two or three other people on an income of even $250k may have to live quite modestly after accounting for retirement saving, college saving, etc. Is such a person rich?

     

    What about the difference between wealth and income? In a normal interest rate regime, the two are much more closely related; it is assumed that wealth is deployed in some set of ways that generate income. Even fairly modest nest eggs throw off a lot of income if they're earning 10% or even 5%, helping to ensure that those with enough capital to live without working nevertheless pay significant taxes. With yields at 1% or 2% today, that mechanism is no longer very effective. Is it worthwhile (or even desirable) to take this into account in the tax code? France has a "wealth tax" separate from its income tax. Is that a good idea? What about the difficulties of measuring wealth?

     

    We see a lot of back and forth about "taxing the rich" but there doesn't seem to be any kind of honest dialogue on who we're talking about. How this is defined makes a huge difference in both the merits and popularity of policy proposals. You see the impact with things like the AMT, which was intended to close tax loopholes for the extremely wealthy but nowadays is paid mostly by people earning very ordinary incomes. Let's be sure people aren't signing up to "tax the rich" only be surprised when tax time rolls around to learn that they are suddenly "rich". Each of us has an idea of what that means, probably involving things like expensive jewelry, famous works of art, private aircraft, prestigious cars, and luxurious mansions. In fact, however, some of the definitions being considered could easily apply to people living in one-bedroom apartments, riding the bus to work, and struggling to save enough for a modest retirement. Before we talk about tax regimes, let's get crisp on terminology, shall we?
    13 Apr 2011, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • Econdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (2938) | Send Message
     
    surprising, a good effort and a move in the right direction.

     

    a decent answer is coming and we will get it.

     

    E
    13 Apr 2011, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9113) | Send Message
     
    Econ; "a decent answer is coming and we will get it."
    Now just who do you think that answer might be coming from? The one who has just spoken?
    May the force be with whomever will give the great wisdom from on high.
    13 Apr 2011, 07:45 PM Reply Like
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