The Daily Rundown | February 14, 2011
>> many who ran vowing to cut federal spending, ohio director office of management under president bush , this was once your job to send a budget to capitol hill . i want to start with what it doesn't do. the president has chosen not to address the elephant in the room . titlement, social security , medicaid and medicare in this budget . republicans are not offering solution there is either. are both parties missing the boat?
>> you talked earlier about this budget saving $1.1 trillion over 10 years and stated that this year's deficit is $1.6 trillion. clearly this does not rise to the challenge we face on three 41s one is annual spending and the second is the entitlements and it's over 60% of the budget now. it's not addressed. third is pro growth policies to help us to grow the economy and bring in additional revenues.
>> senator, i know earlier to our colleagues, you criticized the president for not showing leadership on this and said if he comes forward, you will come forward. if the message was okay, republicans, it's your turn to come forward, why not you guys come to the table with a plan on entitlements now as well. if you say the president is not leading, then lead.
>> republicans are leading. kelly did a report talking about this year's spending this is not what's going to happen in 10 years. let's have reductions right now.
>> this is not entitlements? let's be real about this. a huge part of the budget --
>> it's leadership. on the entitlement programs , i believe that. the fiscal commission that the president used as a way to say let's not make the tough choices, the commission comes out with specific recommendations on the entitlement side. five of the six senators on the commission supported including all the republicans. what happened is the president said we will reject the recommendations from the commission
>> let me stop you there. the house budget committee chairman on that fiscal commission did not endorse the plan. at the end of the day , that is one of the reason yes this plan is considered politically doa. the senators agree, but house republicans
>> why did he not support the plan? because it didn't go far enough and didn't address the health care challenges. not because it went too far, but it didn't go far enough. that's the dynamic. people are ready to make tough choices. the voters have spoken about two things one is they need to get the spending under control and need to working to o to address the problems. it takes presidential leadership and always has to deal with the programs and social security and with regard to medicare and health care . we need leadership there as well. i believe the commission is a good example. paul ryan 's commission didn't go far enough. he said it was in terms of health care . republicans are ready to talk about the issues, but the president in this budget missed an opportunity to do so.
>> senator, setting aside the blame game and you were the budget directionor. you understand this probably better than most. if you can wave a magic wand , what would you advise on the issue of entitlements, would you raise the retirement age?
>> dihave the job of budget director and that budget did include changes in medicare including means testing. that is not in the budget this year. admittedly, the deficit was $160 billion so we were in better shape.
>> we didn't have a recession so the tax receipts were up and it's the hugest driver.
>> we had a stronger economy and more spending restraints because we didn't see what we saw. a 24% increase in the discretionary spending that the president is talking about freezing. it was a different environment, but we did present entitlement change that is the congress did not accept. this is what is required now. the president needs to show leadership. he made a big point about our fiscal problem and has been eloquent about describing the problem ands his solution is not up to the challenge. we are looking for the president to match his rhetoric on the seriousness of our crisis and the solutions that really work. you don't see this. you talked about this in terms of the next 10 years, $1.1 trillion, a third of which is tax increases. it doesn't come close to meeting the challenge. it's less than 10% of the additional debt accumulated in that time period.
>> is your experience as budget director, how often does the budget become law?
>> actually most of it does. about 80% of the budget will become law, but it's the 20% that matters. what we are looking at is not a typical year. we are looking at a challenge we never faced before. the biggest deficit in the history of our country. it's $120 billion more this year than we heard from congressional budget office a few weeks ago. we have debts we never have been at this level before we are looking over the next 10 years to be at 100% of our economy. this is a situation that cries out for leadership and requires leadership on both sides of the aisle. this is the president's opportunity. this is his vision for the next 10 years and frankly is doesn't rise to the challenge.
>> rob portman , former budget director. we appreciate your perspective.