Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Uncovering Presidential Proposals By Using The World-Flattening Internet

Uncovering Presidential Proposals By Using The World-Flattening Internet:

“Here we are in America again on the eve of a major budgetary decision by yet another bipartisan ‘super committee,’” observes Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, “and does anyone know what President Obama’s preferred outcome is? Exactly which taxes does he want raised, and which spending does he want cut?”

The answer is probably that few Americans do know the precise details of President Obama’s proposals for achieving long-term budget balance. One reason is that most people don’t really care. Another reason is that many more-engaged Americans rely on major newspapers to convey this kind of information to them. But those of us familiar with the world-flattening capabilities of the Internet are able to find such documents as “Living Within Our Means And Investing In The Future: The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” (PDF) published by the Office of Management and Budget in September. As you might gather from the title, it contains a plan, endorsed by the president, for economic growth and deficit reduction. The details on the tax side are spelled out starting on page 43, with other sections dealing with mandatory savings and health savings separately. There are a bunch of summary tables in the back, too. Unfortunately the tables are too wide to be reproduced on the blog in a way that preserves legibility. But interested parties can and should download the document! My guess is that if Friedman phones up the OMB press office someone there would be happy to walk him through it. Barring that, here’s a four page fact sheet (PDF) and here’s video of OMB Director Jack Lew.

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