In the speech, the President laid out plans for balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 12 years. Here's how he summed it up:
So this is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. It’s an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget. It will lower our interest payments on the debt by $1 trillion. It calls for tax reform to cut about $1 trillion in tax expenditures -- spending in the tax code. And it achieves these goals while protecting the middle class, protecting our commitment to seniors, and protecting our investments in the future.I thought it would be interesting to check in and see how he's done on those goals.
Goal 1: $2 trillion in spending cuts
As a result of the debt ceiling deal, domestic spending has been cut by $900 billion and defense spending by $350 billion for a total of $1.25 trillion - or 62.5% of the goal.
Goal 2: $1 trillion in interest spending
The total there is simply dependent on successful completion of the other 2 goals.
Goal 3: $1 trillion in tax expenditures
The fiscal cliff deal resulted in over $600 billion of additional revenue - or 60% of the goal.
When it comes to goals 1 and 3, President Obama has implemented $1.85 trillion of the $3 trillion he set as a target - or about 62%.
Not bad for 21 months of work with an obstructionist Congress.
With the sequestered cuts of $1.2 trillion set to go into effect in 2 months and President Obama promising a balanced approach of replacing them with both spending cuts and tax expenditures, I'd put pretty good odds on him reaching these goals real soon.