Dec 03 2012
“There is a reason why the White House strongly prefers to operate in secrecy... If the White House believes our analysts are mistaken, the Budget Committee is standing by to review any concrete financial plan the President wishes to produce.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today about comments made by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner regarding President Obama’s fiscal cliff “plan”:
“Secretary Geithner’s comments yesterday on FOX News Sunday affirm that the President’s campaign pledge—that he has a ‘balanced plan’ to ‘pay down our debt’—remains one of the greatest financial misrepresentation ever made to the American people. From Geithner’s comments, and existing information about the President’s budget, we know the following about the White House’s secret fiscal cliff proposal.
It increases spending by more than $1 trillion above the current baseline. In other words, spending will increase $1 trillion above the already projected growth after enactment of the Budget Control Act as part of the last debt deal. It achieves not one dollar in net spending reduction or debt reduction, and it continues the country on a dangerously unsustainable debt path.
The President proposes growth over and above the BCA baseline, which already calls for spending growth every single year. Specifically, the President calls for:
- More than $170 billion in stimulus spending, including $26 billion for extended unemployment benefits, $50 billion for transportation spending, and $90 billion for an extension of the payroll holiday (which is considered on-budget spending)
- The elimination of the $1.2 trillion sequester (half of the spending cuts exchanged in 2011 for the $2.1 trillion in previous debt limit increase) without corresponding spending cuts, resulting in a $1.2 trillion spending increase
- The unpaid-for ‘doc fix’ for Medicare reimbursements ($394 billion)
- Only $600 billion in mandatory ‘savings’ primarily achieved through further reductions in provider payments beyond those in the President’s health law, which do nothing to enhance the long-term sustainability of entitlement spending
- Over $800 billion in phony ‘war savings’—one of the most widely discredited budget gimmicks in existence
Secretary Geithner’s claim of two dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax hikes is therefore an egregious falsehood. The President is calling for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes. But instead of a corresponding $3.2 trillion spending cut, there is a more than $1 trillion spending increase.
Overall, were this secret proposal enacted, it would produce approximately $9 trillion in new gross debt over 10 years. By 2016, yearly federal spending would eclipse $4 trillion, including a 30 percent increase in welfare costs.
There is a reason why the White House strongly prefers to operate in secrecy. I am confident that if they made this secret proposal public, and in a form that could be scored by CBO, these facts would become clear and the ‘plan’ would be resoundingly rejected by the American people and their representatives in Congress.
We believe that these figures accurately state what the President has in mind. But, if the White House believes our analysts are mistaken, the Budget Committee is standing by to review any concrete financial plan the President wishes to produce.”
[NOTE: To view Sessions’ earlier letter to congressional leaders urging that spending reductions from the Budget Control Act be maintained as part of any new fiscal deal, please click here.]