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CBO: President's ‘Framework’ Not A Serious Budget Plan

Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf: "We don't estimate speeches"

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Washington, June 23, 2011 | comments

A recap of the stunning abdication of leadership from the President and his party’s leaders (note: it’s been 785 days since Senate Democrats passed a budget):

  • On February 15, the President submitted his Fiscal Year 2012 budget.  The disappointing proposal was roundly rejected across the political spectrum for its lack of seriousness given the fiscal and economic challenges before us.

  • On March 18, the CBO offered a preliminary analysis of the President’s budget, noting that under the President’s budget:

    • Federal spending never falls below 23 percent of GDP – Washington will spend over $46 trillion over the next decade;

    • Cumulative deficits are $2.3 trillion higher than OMB estimated;

    • The debt increases by $1.8 trillion more than OMB estimate, nearly tripling the debt at the end of the budget window.

  • On April 13, the President gave a speech in which he offered his opinion on The Path to Prosperity – a budget that brought an unprecedented level of seriousness to Washington’s budget debate. The President and spoke generally of deficit reduction proposals that his administration has sold as a new budget plan.  But the President has not submitted a new budget to Congress. The President’s initial budget proposal remains his budget plan for the United States.

  • While many have falsely framed his April 13 speech as a new budget plan, Congress has not received from the Office of Management and Budget any of the proposals mentioned in the speech. All that the Obama Administration has produced is a brief fact sheet on the speech issued by the Office of the Press Secretary.

  • As CBO Director Doug Elmendorf confirmed today at the House Budget Committee, the President’s ‘framework’ fails to meet the threshold of credibility that is required of serious federal budget plans. Until the President is willing to put forward a serious plan to avert a debt crisis – a plan with real, credible numbers – the nation will continue to suffer from a leadership deficit in Washington that is hindering our economic recovery and impeding job growth today.



TRANSCRIPT from today’s House Budget Committee hearing:

HBC Chairman Paul Ryan: “We got your re-analysis of the President’s budget. I won’t go back into that. But the President gave a speech on April 13th where he outlined a new budget framework that claims $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 12 years. Have you estimated the budget impact of this framework?”

CBO Director Doug Elmendorf: “No, Mr. Chairman. We don’t estimate speeches. We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”


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