Bloomberg by the Numbers: $2.4 Trillion

Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Senior citizens protest against cuts to federal safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in Chicago.

That’s the amount of deficit reduction projected over 10 years under a new proposal from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.

Bowles and Simpson, who led President Barack Obama’s 2010 deficit commission, introduced a plan yesterday that would achieve savings in a series of steps. It would capture half of the deficit reduction through spending cuts, one-fourth from changes to health-care programs including Medicare and Medicaid, and one-fourth by amending tax laws.

Bowles, a former White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, and Simpson, a Republican former Wyoming senator, issued their new proposal as Obama and congressional leaders clash over how to avert $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to begin March 1.

“Nobody should want these cuts to go through,” Obama said yesterday, Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev and Roger Runningen report.

Obama is pushing Congress to consider a plan that includes paring tax breaks for top earners. Republicans are pushing for more spending cuts.

Obama “still prefers campaign events to common sense, bipartisan action,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said yesterday.


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