But $1 trillion of the president's proposed cuts would come from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, something he planned to do anyway. And while letting the top Bush-era tax cuts expire could boost revenues by $1 trillion, there's still a shortfall, says Robert Bixby, head of The Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group.
"I think sometimes one is left with the impression in the Obama campaign that all we need to do is let the taxes go up for wealthy people, and that would solve a major part of our problem," Bixby says. "In fact, I think we're going to have to do a lot more and concentrate on the spending side in order to bring the deficit under control." . . .
Romney would actually increase defense spending and target domestic spending for cuts. That won't work, says the Concord Coalition's Bixby.
"If we're going to get serious about bringing the debt under control, we have to take serious measures, and focusing on the nondefense discretionary side of the budget is probably the least serious type of measure we can take," he says.