In talking about the torrent of red ink that's coming, Obama said this:
First of all, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because, as I recall, I'm inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them. That would be point number one. Point number two. Both under our estimates and under the CBO estimates, both -- the most conservative estimates out there, we drive down the deficit over the first five years of our budget. The deficit is cut in half. And folks aren't disputing that.May I dispute that? If you look at the numbers, the reason the deficit gets cut in half is that he starts with the disastrous year we are currently enduring. Even under his most rosy scenario, he never cuts budget deficits below the levels we had during the profligate Bush administration.
He also says this:
But I'm -- look, I'm not going to lie to you. It is tough. As I said, that's why the critics tend to criticize, but they don't offer an alternative budget.I don't have time to look for it right now, but I'd be willing to bet I can find one. And when I do, I'll let you know what it says.
One last point, on charitable giving. Obama wants to limit the ability of the evil rich to deduct charitable donations. Charities are worried about this, but Obama is pretty blithe about it:
QUESTION: It's not the well-to-do people. It's the charities. Given what you've just said, are you confident the charities are wrong when they contend that this would discourage giving?
OBAMA: Yes, I am. I mean, if you look at the evidence, there's very little evidence that this has a significant impact on charitable giving. I'll tell you what has a significant impact on charitable giving, is a financial crisis and an economy that's contracting. And so the most important thing that I can do for charitable giving is to fix the economy, to get banks lending again, to get businesses opening their doors again, to get people back to work again. Then I think charities will do just fine.
This is worth a post of its own. And I'll get to that anon.