Needless to say, Barack Obama faced a great deal of skepticism when he took the podium today for his press conference on the budget proposal. Speaking to reporters for just over an hour, Obama attempted to convince the nation that he took deficit reduction seriously, but at least from the initial response, Obama didn’t appear to convince the reporters:
CNN’s live blog didn’t hold back on the snark:
11:07 a.m ET – QUESTION 1: AP’s Ben Feller asks about Obama’s budget not addressing Medicare, Social Security. Where is his leadership? POTUS doesn’t answer question right away…says he’s taking a “scalpel to the discretionary budget rather than a machete.” …
11:17 a.m. ET – QUESTION 3: CBS’ Chip Reid needs glasses to read question. Reads budget numbers from page 171 – says he assumes Pres. Obama has seen it. Think he has? …
11:20 a.m. ET – QUESTION 4: NBC’s Chuck Todd asks, “What was the point of the fiscal commission? Why has their work been shelved?”
11:21 a.m. ET – Obama avoids the questions by saying that we’re just impatient about every thing… saying that even the Egypt revolution taking 18 days, why did it take so long?
11:22 a.m. ET – It turns out that Fiscal Commission was really just a “framework for a conversation.”
If it’s a framework, then there is a lot of matte work in the frame. The debt commission proposal would have cut $4 trillion from deficits over the next ten years, while Obama only proposes to cut $1.1 trillion. Obama bragged that he had met his pledge to cut the deficit in half, which happens in the “out” years when his projection shows deficits dropping to “only” $600 billion a year — more than any of the Republican budgets during Bush’ term of office.
John Boehner blasted Obama’s idea of sustainability: “The President apparently believes a $607 billion budget deficit is called ‘living within our means.’ ” Adding more than a half-trillion a year in new debt is hardly a solution to a level of national debt that will shortly outstrip our GDP and put us in the same category as Greece.