Obama spox falsely accuses Ryan of destroying debt deal

Obama in 2011: 'When you’ve got a ratio of $4 in cuts for every $1 of revenue, that’s pretty hard to stomach'


Obama deputy campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter falsely claimed Monday that it was Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) who killed the “grand compromise” budget deal last summer—but it was President Obama, according to the president himself.

“Ryan killed grand bargain def. red. deal b/c it would help Obama reelection. Politics b4 country, not bold OR courageous,” Cutter wrote on Twitter.

But President Obama said he could not “stomach” the cuts proposed by House Republicans, at a July 22, 2011 press conference.

REPORTER: But they were willing to move on some revenues, apparently.

THE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely.  But what you saw — and, again, you’ll see this from the description of the deal — essentially what they had agreed to give on is to get back to a baseline — this starts getting technical, but there were about $800 billion in revenue that were going to be available.  And what we said was when you’ve got a ratio of $4 in cuts for every $1 of revenue, that’s pretty hard to stomach.

Experts say a ration of $6 in cuts to $1 in revenue is the average ratio for countries who successfully climb out of debt.

“Some of the most successful financial comebacks—like Finland’s in the late 1990s—involved more than 100 percent spending cuts, so that taxes could be lowered. The spending cuts by the successful countries centered on entitlements and government personnel,” Arthur C. Brooks wrote in a Weekly Standard piece on the budget deal.

Ryan’s plan puts the country on a path to balance the budget over time without tax increases, but he has shown a willingness to compromise on tax reform before, like the plan proposed by Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), which would have put $250 billion in new revenue toward deficit reduction in exchange for entitlement reform and pro-growth tax reform.