Budget Background

The budget that the Obama Administration presented to Congress on February 14th pushes our nation further down an unsustainable path: growing the government, weakening the economy, and increasing the burden of debt on each and every American. Now, the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the president’s budget conceals an additional $2.3 trillion in deficits. In nearly every major area, CBO gave the president’s plan a lower grade than the Administration gave itself.

  • The Administration had claimed the mantle of fiscal responsibility through the use of a concept known as “primary balance”—which pretends that trillions of dollars in interest payments simply don’t add to the debt. But even this bizarre claim falls apart: deficits are greater than net interest payments every single year. Net interest totals $931 billion by the end of the decade.
  • While the Administration proposed adding “just” $8.7 trillion in new spending, CBO’s analysis finds that total new spending will actually add up to $9.6 trillion.
  • The president claimed to have found $1 trillion in deficit reduction, but CBO wiped that out—zeroing out a mystery $435 billion transportation tax, $315 billion from a “doc fix” gimmick, and $1.7 trillion in revenues based on overly optimistic economic assumptions.
  • The Administration’s own numbers show that the lowest deficit over the next ten years will be $600 billion—much higher than anything we saw under President Bush. But because OMB relied on “rosy scenarios” of economic growth, CBO tells us that we won’t see deficits lower than $748 billion.

President Obama, OMB Director Lew, and other top administration officials have been claiming for weeks that the president’s budget allows us to “live within our means,” “spend only what we take in,” and “begin paying down our debt.” But CBO has confirmed today that nothing could be further from the truth: the president’s plan spends and borrows even more than our current path, which the president has acknowledged is unsustainable.

The economic prospects of millions of Americans are at risk as government grows at a breakneck pace, discouraging new investments and threatening our nation’s financial security. We need a new course. We need spending restraint that grows the economy, creates jobs, and strengthens the foundations for our future.