Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have recently said they would like to balance the federal budget. However, according to data publishedby Obama’s own White House Office of Management and Budget, accomplishing that goal at anywhere near the current level of federal spending would require imposing and sustaining a record level of federal taxation as a percentage of GDP.
“I want to balance our budget,” Obama said in a July 5 speech at Sandusky, Ohio. “I want to reduce our deficit, deal with our debt, but I want to do it in a balanced, responsible way.
“I want to get America strong again,” Romney said at Dewitt, Mich., on June 19. “So we can hold that torch high around the world. I’m going to do it. I’m going to put America to work. I’m going to make sure we get rid of Obamacare. That we balance our budget.”
Obama has stressed that he does not want to cut what he believes are important federal programs for everything from local school teachers to the disabled. The primary tools he cites for closing the deficit are “eliminating waste” and allowing the lower tax rates enacted under President George W. Bush to expire for the top 2 percent of American workers.