Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association: Well, I brought the message that, number one, it’s important that we let the Bush tax cuts disappear for the wealthiest 2 percent.
As we’re looking for a $1.2 trillion solution, $829 billion takes us a long way there.
For context, the president’s most recent budget — which received zero votes when submitted to Congress — calls for cumulative deficits totaling an additional $6,684 billion from 2013 through 2022. This “1.2 trillion solution” over those years is 18 percent of that projected deficit. This is not what I’d call a “solution.” We can’t raise taxes enough to solve our protracted budget problems.
Further, the president’s budget may be based on unrealistically optimistic projections. One of the most important variables, the rate of growth of gross domestic product, was assumed to be 3.0 percent in 2012. But through the first three quarters, GDP growth has been at the rate of 2.0 percent, and the recent trend has been for that rate to decrease, not improve.