K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Just How Deep are the Federal Spending Cuts?

John Merline:

The headlines appear to say it all. “Painful Cuts in Obama’s $3.7 Trillion Budget.” “Budget Director Calls Steep Budget Cuts Necessary.” “Obama Budget Pivots From Stimulus to Deficit Cuts.” “Cuts to Target Working Poor, Middle Class and Students.” On and on they go.

But how deep are these cuts really? Take a closer look, and they turn out to be less than meets the eye.

Consider: President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposes to spend $3.48 trillion on everything except interest on the national debt. That’s a 7 percent increase over what the government spent in 2010. And keep in mind that in 2010, there was a lot of stimulus money flying out the door.