Fox News gave Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist a platform to claim that Obama "doesn't want spending restraint" when it comes to the federal budget. But neither Fox host Bill Hemmer nor Norquist mentioned the fact that Obama has already signed bills that will reduce spending by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years and that Obama has repeatedly endorsed a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes both tax increases and spending cuts.
On Fox, Norquist Claims Obama "Doesn't Want Spending Restraint"
Norquist To Hemmer: U.S. "Just Elected A President Who Doesn't Want Spending Restraint." On the November 27 broadcast of America's Newsroom, Norquist told host Bill Hemmer during a discussion about negotiations on the federal budget: "The challenge is two years ago, we extended all the Bush tax cuts without change because all the players were exactly the same and the economy was just as weak. We ought to start by doing that. And then look at spending restraint, but don't count on it. You just elected a president who doesn't want spending restraint." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 11/27/12]
But Obama Has Already Signed $1.5 Trillion In Spending Cuts ...
CBPP: Funding Reductions Signed By Obama "Have Produced $1.5 Trillion In Savings." A November 8 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) stated:
Policymakers and budget experts generally agree on the need to reduce projected deficits and put the federal budget on a sustainable path. They have focused less attention, however, on the amount of deficit reduction that the 112th Congress and the President have enacted. Reductions in funding for discretionary (i.e., non-entitlement) programs enacted last year, primarily in the Budget Control Act, have produced $1.5 trillion in savings in discretionary spending for fiscal years 2013 through 2022.
These reductions will shrink non-defense discretionary spending to its lowest level on record as a share of GDP, with data going back to 1962.
CBPP also noted that the reductions will "produce lower interest payments on the debt," leading to an additional $250 billion in interest savings, and included this graph showing the projected decrease in funding:
- Indeed, Some Progressives Have Criticized Obama For Cutting Spending Too Much. Some progressives have argued that Obama's proposals cut government spending too much. [Huffington Post, 4/8/11]
... And Has Signaled He Is Open To More Cuts
Obama's Deficit Reduction Plan "Would Cut $2.50 In Spending Allowances For Every $1 Of Increased Tax Revenue." A September 9 CBS article reported that Obama's plan for reducing the deficit "would cut $2.50 in spending allowances for every $1 of increased tax revenue - the same deal House Republicans turned down during last year's near-government shutdown episode." The article also reported:
"You can't reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach that says, 'We've gotta make government leaner and more efficient,'" the president said. "But we've also got to ask people - like me or Gov. Romney, who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade, and whose taxes are just about lower than they've been in the last 50 years - to do a little bit more. [CBSNews.com, 9/9/12]
Obama: "We've Got To Reduce Our Deficit, But We've Got To Do It In A Balanced Way" During the October 17 presidential debate, Obama said that he wanted to lower the deficit by both taxing the wealthiest Americans and cutting spending:
OBAMA: We've got to reduce our deficit, but we've got to do it in a balanced way -- asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more along with cuts so that we can invest in education like yours. And let's take the money that we've been spending on war over the last decade to rebuild America -- roads, bridges, schools. We do those things, not only is your future going to be bright, but America's future is going to be bright as well. [WhiteHouse.gov, 10/17/12]