The Ryan and Obama plans, apples to apples 

When President Obama unveiled his debt reduction vision last week, I noted that his promise to reduce deficits by $4 trillion was a deception, since it relied on rosier economic projections and was spread out over 12 years, rather than the standard 10-year budget window. Today, Reuters' James Pethokoukis has published an analysis that attempts to provide us with an apples to apples comparison between the Obama budget and the one offered by House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Pethokoukis finds that using the same economic forecasts and adjusting the Obama projections to a 10-year window means that Ryan's proposal has more than double the deficit reduction compared with Obama's -- $6.9 trillion vs. 3 trillion. At the same time, despite Obama administration claims to balance three dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar of tax increases, Pethokoukis finds that the tax hikes would actually represent more like two-thirds of the deficit reduction plan.

Of course, these are the best estimates he can make based on a Goldman Sachs analysis and prior estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. A more precise measurement is impossible at this time due to the limited information the Obama administration has provided and the fact that his budget vision is more a set of ideas than an actual detailed proposal.

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