A favorite Obama campaign talking point, one that is likely to be repeated during Tuesday’s debate, is the idea that President Barack Obama wants to “ask” (i.e., force under penalty of jail) wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes in order to “pay down the debt.”
This claim is drastically misleading.
Obama incorporated these desired tax increases (about $1.8 trillion over 10 years) in his most recent budget proposal, which was panned by independent analysts for failing to address the country’s long-term debt problem.
By the White House’s own estimates, the president’s budget, including his tax increases, would produce $10.6 trillion of new gross debt.
That is because the president’s proposed tax hikes would not go towards debt reduction, but rather to fund a dramatic spending increase over the next decade—about $1.4 trillion above the current budget baseline.
Federal spending under Obama’s budget would rise from $3.8 trillion this year to $5.8 trillion in 2022, an increase of 53 percent.