Supporters of President Obama are overreaching when they tout an “end to austerity” in his 2015 budget due to a projected drop in the deficit, Stephen Hayes said Friday.
“Why did we have that?” asked the Weekly Standard columnist and Fox News contributor on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
“It wasn't because President Obama was out there campaigning for reducing the deficit, it's because Republicans, after the 2010 elections, insisted on cuts to discretionary spending.”
The Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit will fall to $514 billion, its lowest level since the president took office, in 2014, and drop another 2.6 percent next year.
Hayes said that for the administration to take credit for that ignores Republican demands for spending cuts, adding, “Some of which I think were good cuts, others which may not have been good cuts, but that's ultimately why you have spending caps, you have cuts in discretionary spending.
“President Obama was dragged kicking and screaming to those cuts. And now he and (White House press secretary) Jay Carney are out there selling them as if they were the president's ideas.”
As part of the 2015 budget, Obama will also drop an offer fortrims to cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs favored by Republicans – known as “chained CPI” - a move that won praise from Democrats.
Carney indicated Friday that the proposal was a bargaining chip to bring Republicans to the table, saying, “I think that there's ample evidence that they had -- that they were very interested in having this generally, but there's no question that this is -- this was a give as part of a give and take.”
But Hayes noted that efforts to demonize “chained CPI” simply ignore economic reality and “it is not an entitlement reform as properly understood, it's an accounting change… It's bringing into correct counting practices the way that we calculate inflation.”