off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Most Deficit Savings Have Come from Program Cuts

Tomorrow’s release of President Obama’s budget will bring new attention to the debate over how to reduce deficits.  A key sticking point in that debate has been Republican leaders’ opposition to any new revenues on top of those in January’s American Taxpayer Relief Act. With that in mind, here’s a fact worth remembering:  some 70 percent of the $2.3 trillion in policy savings that the President and Congress have enacted over the past few years — which will produce $2.75 trillion in total deficit reduction when interest savings are included — have come through program cuts rather than revenue increases (see graph).
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