The choice in 2012 in pictures 

The Washington Post reported yesterday: “In 2012, the contrast between the two parties seems certain to be drawn in sharp relief. The Republican vision is of a dramatically smaller government and of a budget that is balanced without raising taxes. Democrats argue for what Obama describes as a balanced approach, one that includes new revenue and treads cautiously around Social Security, Medicare and social programs that provide a safety net for the poor.”

It is easy for The Post to say Republicans want a “dramatically smaller government” while Obama is just seeking a “balanced approach” without attaching any numbers to those statements. It is also highly misleading. As the accompanying chart shows, it is the Republicans who want to return the government to the size it was when President Clinton balanced budgets and it is Obama who wants to maintain the dramatically, unbalanced, larger government that is currently driving our nation’s historically high deficits.

“This has helped crystallize the debate. There is no doubt there will be a very distinct choice,” David Axelrod told The Post yesterday. He is dead on.

Data from OMB Historical Tables, CBO score of Obama's 2012 budget, CBO score of Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity.

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