Brad Plummer has a piece up at The Washington Post purporting to explain “What Paul Ryan’s budget actually cuts — and by how much.” But besides some scary sounding factoids like, “Compared with Obama, Ryan would spend 25 percent less on transportation,” Plummer’s post doesn’t give a real good big picture comparing the two budgets (where are the charts?).
Below is a chart comparing the 2016 federal spending levels, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office and the White House, of both the Obama and Ryan budgets.
All told, Obama is scheduled to spend $4.2 trillion in 2016 compared to Ryan’s $3.7 trillion. The lion’s share of Ryan’s savings (about $500 billion) comes from reduced health care spending ($235 billion), which includes Medicare, Medicaid, and, of course, Obamacare. Ryan saves another $90 billion by spending less on welfare (which includes TANF, food stamps, housing assistance, etc.).
But while Ryan does spend a bit less on transportation than Obama does, compared to other spending priorities, the differences are rather small. Obama plans to spend just $28 billion more on transportation than Ryan in 2016. That comes out to less than 1 percent of Obama’s entire budget. That $28 billion is also dwarfed by the $47 billion Obama wants to spend on high-speed trains to nowhere.
Keep that in mind the next time Obama talks about how we must have trillions in higher tax revenue to pay for all those “roads and bridges” our entrepreneurs would be helpless without.