CBO Gives Dose of Reality on President’s Budget

April 23, 2014

By Tom Fletcher

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) dealt the Obama administration yet another reality check when scrutinizing the President’s FY2015 budget proposal. The Budget offered by the President does nothing more than increases our debt and deficits without any substantive reforms to the main drivers of spending.

In what has turned into a regular occurrence, the President will offer a policy with populist appeal — such as increasing the minimum wage – only to have the negative impacts of the proposal exposed by non-partisan analysis from those outside the West Wing.

CBO’s latest report on the President’s budget points out the mathematical reality: This is not a serious attempt to fix the nation’s finances.

Deficits

“CBO estimates that the federal deficit would total $492 billion in 2014 and that the cumulative deficit over the 2015-2024 period would amount to $7.6 trillion.”

Debt

“Federal debt held by the public would increase from $12.8 trillion, or 74 percent of GDP, at the end of 2014 to $19.9 trillion at the end of 2024.” Overall debt in the country will soon approach $20 trillion, adding to our already crushing debt burden. This will continue to exacerbate adverse effects on the economy.  According to a CBO report published earlier this year, economic growth is projected to slow to 2 percent by 2017.

Mandatory Spending

All of the proposed policies affecting Medicare other than freezing payment rates for physicians would reduce outlays by a total of $373 billion over 10 years.”  NOTE: Medicare and Social Security have a combined unfunded liability of $30.3 trillion according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Discretionary Spending

Over the 2015-2024 period, the President’s proposals other than those involving the reclassification of transportation programs and the phasing down of funding for overseas contingency operations would boost spending for discretionary programs by $433 billion.

Bottom Line: The President’s budget fails the most basic test in trying to get our country back on a fiscally sustainable path. He increases spending across his budget while offering no real reforms to the real drivers of the country’s debt i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Instead of even starting a conversation about the country’s spending problems the President makes things worse with this irresponsible budget – a budget that will leave American taxpayers drowning in red ink for years to come. 

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