The next month, both [budget] plans came to a vote in the Senate. Ryan’s budget lost on a party-line vote; Obama’s lost 0-97. Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff to Bill Clinton, and Obama’s own appointee to the deficit-control panel whose recommendations Obama completely ignored in that budget proposal, told a University of North Carolina audience in September 2011 that Ryan had proposed “a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion.” In contrast, Bowles told the audience, “I don’t think anyone took [Obama’s] budget very seriously.”
In February 2012, Obama proposed yet another unserious budget that ignored all of the realities of our short- and long-term fiscal shortfalls, with yet another trillion-dollar deficit. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner tried to tell Ryan and the House Budget Committee that Obama’s budget proposal would “stabilize” the deficits. This time, Ryan only needed four minutes to dismantle that argument, showing that Obama’s long-term budget only “stabilized” deficits for a decade, after which they escalated out of control — unlike Ryan’s long-term budget reforms, which solved the problem of escalating costs. “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem,” Geithner finally exclaimed. “What we do know is we don’t like yours.”
Bluntly put, Obama has never been willing to propose anything that might solve the federal budget disaster, while Ryan has at least made an attempt.