Lots of speculation about the speech to be given to a joint session of Congress — and lots of it about tone (which I don’t entirely get) — but here is a good summary of the the expectations (at least from the venues I read) cribbed from Matt Yglesias:
- Obama wants the 2013 deficit to be half the size of the 2009 deficit he inherited.
- The 2010 deficit is going to be large.
- Specifically, we’ll go from $1.2 trillion in 2009 to $1.5 trillion in 2010 to $533 billion in 2013.
- Spending cuts are expected to come from the expiration of stimulus money, from a reduction in “emergency” appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan, from reductions in Medicare Advantage giveaways to private insurance firms, and I believe from some other form of medical efficiencies.
- Revenue enhancements are projected to come from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, from ending the hedge fund manager’s loophole, and from carbon auction permits.
- Overall, the idea is to get back down to a deficit of about 3 percent of GDP, but to have a better health care system when we do it.
Robert Reich says Oh Really? — to the halving of the deficit part. (And I shouldn’t have been so glib — Dr. Reich has a detailed and thoughtful take here.)
If we go though all of this and end up with a better health care system, I’m in. And I’ve no objections to these revenue enhancements, either — especially hearing that carbon permits will be auctioned, not given away.
Then again,we won’t know until we hear him speak this evening, scheduled for 9PM EST probably broadcast everywhere.
We’ll talk about the specifics tomorrow, but also take good note of how the republicans Get Their Pout On tonite.