Democrats' Deficit Reduction Plan

A blog about business and economics.
March 12 2013 1:00 PM

Here's How Democrats Want to Cut the Deficit

Sen. Patty Murray is aiming for $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction to put the debt:GDP ratio on a falling path

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats aren't going to unveil their budget proposal until tomorrow, but a Democrat close to the talks was able to share the basic topline numbers they're looking at. Unlike Paul Ryan, Patty Murray won't be trying to craft a budget that achieves balance. Instead, she's aiming for $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction to put the debt:GDP ratio on a falling path. More to the point, she's looking for a budget that sacrifices the interests of richer people rather than the poor and the middle class. It starts with $100 billion in targeted economic stimulus to address high unemployment, features $975 billion in rescinded tax expenditures, $275 billion in cuts to health care spending (likely structured as cuts in provider payments rather than in benefits or eligibility), $242 billion in reduced interest payments, $240 billion in military cuts, and $218 billion in other cuts. 

In pie form, that looks like this:

democrats deficit

As I wrote in January, Murray is much closer to the ideological center of the Democratic caucus than former budget committee head Kent Conrad ever was, so this makes it easier to craft a politically palatable strategy. I think the Pete Peterson crowd is going to look at this and say that it doesn't really tackle the long-term drivers of deficit growth. The flipside is that it lays out a sustainable path over the next 10 years and does so without any drastic cuts to popular programs or asking the poor to pay a disproportionate price for deficit reduction.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.