Posts Tagged ‘Congressional Budget Office’
March 14th, 2012 at 3:56 pm
CBO: ObamaCare to Cost Nearly Twice As Much As Promised reports:

The gross costs of the national healthcare law rammed through Congress by President Barack Obama will reach an estimated $1.76 trillion over 10 years – nearly twice the amount originally projected.

The figure, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed on Wednesday, is bound to cause embarrassment to the administration as it comes just as debate on ‘Obamacare’ is starting to heat up again, two weeks before the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

Truth be told, nearly everyone already knew that the cost estimates used to sell ObamaCare to the American people were part of the White House shell game to get it passed.  That much is understood by both supporters and opponents of ObamaCare.  What is embarrassing is the administration’s response to the latest CBO estimate.

‘The bottom line is clear: the Affordable Care Act will reduce our deficit, control health costs and make health care more affordable,’ Jeanne Lambrew, deputy director of the White House office of Health Reform, wrote on the White House blog.

Remember, this is the same White House trying to convince you that algae is the answer to rising gas prices.

June 28th, 2011 at 10:24 am
CBO On Obama Budget: “We Don’t Estimate Speeches”
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In February, President Obama unveiled his irresponsible deficit-inflating 2012 proposed budget.  By April, Obama hastily said “never mind,” scrapped that proposal and offered a vague Budget 2.0 speech after Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) embarrassed him by unveiling his debt-cutting budget roadmap.

The problem is that the so-called leader of the Free World was too afraid to offer any specificity whatsoever, focusing on his reelection instead of the nation’s intensifying fiscal emergency.  At a House Budget Committee hearing last week, Rep. Ryan asked Congressional Budget Office (CBO) chief Douglas Elmendorf whether the CBO had yet been able to estimate Obama’s latest “budget.”  Elmendorf’s not-so-subtle reply:

We don’t estimate speeches.  We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”

Come to think of it, a lot of voters probably think back to the 2008 presidential campaign and say the same thing.

April 29th, 2011 at 4:25 pm
Gallup: 73%-22% Majority Blames Deficit on Too Much Spending, Not Insufficient Taxes
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Here’s more encouraging news:  Americans are “getting it” on the issue of federal deficits and debt.  According to a new Gallup survey, an overwhelming 73% to 22% majority blames excess spending for the deficit, not insufficient taxation.  Barack Obama and his liberal apologists seek to blame “tax cuts for the rich” and insufficient revenues as the problem.  But as illustrated by the Heritage Foundation’s newly-released 2011 Budget Chart Book, our budget would still be approximately balanced if spending merely returned to early 2000s levels.  Does any serious person contend that government was too small in the first half of the 2000s, that government didn’t spend enough, that the poor and hungry were somehow cast out on the cold streets, that bureaucrats went unpaid?  Of course not.  The problem is explosive spending growth.  Obama oversaw an 84% increase in domestic discretionary spending, including his failed “stimulus,” in just his first two years.

Fortunately, Americans see through his attempt to demand even more taxpayer dollars to feed the insatiable leviathan he hopes to enlarge.

April 4th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
Paul Ryan Unveils Budget Proposal, Obama Unveils Political Campaign
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This week provides a stark contrast between a leader actually willing to risk political capital, versus a man who now seeks four more years of politics-as-usual.

On the one hand, we have House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin).  Tomorrow, Congressman Ryan will unveil a federal budget proposal that reduces spending by $4 trillion over the coming ten years, provides pro-growth tax reform and caps runaway federal spending.  All without reducing Social Security benefits by a single penny for anyone already receiving them or over 55 years of age, along with Medicare reform that will save it from its catastrophic fate if nothing is done.  Congressman Ryan knows full well that by offering budget leadership, Democrats will possess a “political weapon” to use against him, even if it means that “they will have to lie and demagogue” to do so.  But instead of shrinking, he has chosen leadership.

On the other hand, we have the President of the United States.  The purported leader of the Free World.  The most powerful man on Earth.  The man who formed a blue-ribbon deficit commission, then proceeded to ignore it.  Instead of making sure that a Congress dominated by his own party could even manage to pass a 2011 budget, instead of offering decisive world statesmanship amid worldwide crises and instead of providing leadership in averting a national debt catastrophe, Obama instead focused on unveiling his 2012 reelection campaign this week.  Instead of offering a plan, the AWOL Obama will apparently just sit back and attack Paul Ryan’s.

So there you have it.  One man seeks to cut spending by $4 trillion, and the other man seeks to spend $1 billion getting himself reelected.

April 1st, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Speaker Boehner: Don’t Sacrifice Amendment Defunding “Gainful Employment Rule” in House/Senate Budget Negotiations
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As the House and Senate enter budget negotiations, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor must not sacrifice the Kline Amendment de-funding the Obama Education Department’s so-called “Gainful Employment Rule” on the altar of false compromise.

The Gainful Employment Rule, which sets arbitrary bureaucratic formulas for federal student loan repayment, is a transparent attempt by the Obama Administration to cripple private career colleges.  And the tale of its creation is a long, sordid one.  First, there were allegations of insider trading between Education Department officials and short-sellers with a financial interest in seeing career colleges’ stock prices fall.  Then, the the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had its sting operation against career colleges exposed as defective, ultimately forcing its retraction.  These allegations are serious enough that separate investigations were commenced in the Senate and House.

Fortunately, a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives voted to de-fund any enforcement of the Gainful Employment Rule in budget bill H.R. 1.  In an era of intense party acrimony, the fact that opposition to the Gainful Employment Rule attracted strong bipartisan agreement speaks volumes.  Now, it’s a matter of Speaker Boehner holding strong on de-funding implementation of the rule, rather than offering it as “trade bait” to Senate Democrats.  Please don’t allow the Kline Amendment de-funding the Gainful Employment Rule to become a casualty of politics as usual, Speaker Boehner.

March 28th, 2011 at 12:51 pm
Defense Department: Stop Wasting Critical Dollars on Duplicate F-35 Engine
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The Pentagon doesn’t want it.  The Senate has voted it down.  The House has voted it down.  The Bush White House sought to stop it.  The Obama White House has sought to stop it.

Yet the unnecessary duplicate engine for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter refused to die, riding the wave of Washington, D.C. pork-barrel political force.

Fortunately,  the Defense Department has ordered General Electric and Rolls-Royce to stop wasting dollars on a second engine for the F-35.

Pratt & Whitney serves as the main producer of the F-35 engine, but forces in Congress perpetuated the wasteful General Electric and Rolls-Royce second engine.  Although both the House and Senate have voted to end the second engine and allocate those precious defense dollars on more critical needs, the project kept going because the previous Congress never passed a 2011 budget.  That left the Defense Department to operate on continuing resolutions based on the fiscal 2010 appropriations.

It’s an embarrassing illustration of wasteful Beltway politics, and a reminder of what we who favor fiscal sanity must continually overcome.  Fortunately, the Defense Department just provided an assist in that effort.

February 14th, 2011 at 10:35 am
Obama Budget Proposal: Record $1.6 Trillion Deficit
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Last month, we noted with alarm that the Congressional Budget Office forecast a record $1.5 trillion federal budget deficit for fiscal 2011.

It’s apparently even worse than that.  Today, the Obama Administration unveils its proposed budget, projecting that this year’s deficit will actually reach $1.6 trillion.  So after telling Americans during his 2008 campaign that he was going to go through the budget “line-by-line” and reduce the deficit, Obama has given us deficits of $1.4 trillion, $1.3 trillion and now a record $1.6 trillion.  And what to show for it?  Unemployment remains at or above 9% for a post-World War II record 21st consecutive month, despite Obama’s promises that it would top out at 8% in October 2009 and decline to between 6% and 7% today.

As for those who continue their mindless “Blame Bush” rationalization crusade, they must explain how three years into the Age of Obama, the deficit is increasing, not decreasing, from $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion (an almost 25% increase).

January 28th, 2011 at 10:13 am
Obama’s 2011 Deficit? A Record $1.5 Trillion
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Barack Obama assured Americans throughout his campaign that if we hired him, he’d reduce the deficit.  Here is Obama in his own words from his closing infomercial of October 29, 2008:

I believe we need to usher in a new era of responsibility.  Across the country, families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington.  That’s why, for my energy plan, my economic plan and the other proposals you’ll hear tonight, I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost.  I’ll also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that don’t work … and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.”

Here’s the ugly reality, over two years later:  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced this week that the 2011 budget deficit will reach a record $1.5 trillion.  That follows $1.4 trillion and $1.3 trillion deficits in his first two years.  The 2008 deficit, for purposes of comparison, was $455 billion.

Something to consider when assessing Obama’s latest State of the Union address, and his upcoming promises over the next two years.

November 5th, 2010 at 9:30 am
Latest “Stimulus” Report Card: Unemployment Remains 9.6%
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Today, the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate remained at 9.6% for the third consecutive month.  When President Obama signed his nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” in February 2009, the unemployment rate stood at 8.2%.  In the 20 months since that date, the rate has increased to 9.6% despite White House projections that it would top out at 8% fully one year ago.

Once again, a comparison to the Reagan recovery is profoundly instructive.  In the same 20 month span following the effective date of the Reagan tax cuts in January 1983, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.3%.  Also instructive is the following headline from today’s Wall Street Journal“European Central Bank Parts Ways With U.S. on More Stimulus.” It is a sad state of affairs when even the spendthrift Europeans are providing economic guidance to Obama.

Liberal Keynesians have had almost two years to prove the validity of their economic agenda.  It has failed, their rationalizations have grown stale, and their desperate efforts to resist corrective action will only prolong the nation’s misery.

October 29th, 2010 at 12:50 pm
Today’s GDP Report: Latest Proof of “Stimulus” Failure
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Today, the U.S. Commerce Department reported disappointing 2.0% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the third quarter of 2010.  Not only is that number below the expected 2.2% rate, it’s also below the rate needed to substantively reduce our 9.6% unemployment rate.  This now means that GDP growth rates for the five quarters of our current “recovery” have been 1.6%, 5.0%, 3.7%, 1.7% and now 2.0%.

Here’s how that compares to the Reagan recovery, which focused instead on cutting taxes and reducing government regulation.  In the five quarters following implementation of the Reagan tax cuts in January 1983, we posted remarkable growth rates of 5.1%, 9.3%, 8.1%, 8.5% and 8.0%.

So remind us again:  Who is the one blinded to “facts and science,” Mr. President?

September 10th, 2010 at 10:15 am
CBO: 2010 Deficit Already Reaches $1.3 Trillion
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This week, the Congressional Budget Office announced that the nation’s budget deficit has already reached $1.3 trillion, with another month to go in the 2010 fiscal year.  At 9.1% of gross domestic product (GDP), that makes it the second-largest deficit outside the World War II years, second only to last year’s deficit that reached 9.9% of GDP (mainly because GDP was lower in 2009 than 2010).  In a generous act of understatement, the CBO attributed this mind-boggling amount to lower revenues and “elevated spending associated with the economic downturn and the policies implemented in response to it.”  Another round of “stimulus,” anyone?

To put that in perspective, take a look at this straightforward bar graph.  President Bush’s final deficit was approximately $450 billion, which Obama tripled in his first year alone.  Now, Obama’s second deficit continues that unbearable amount.  Furthermore, efforts to scapegoat Bush for Obama’s first deficit fail, because such things as the $800 billion “stimulus” was Obama’s initiative, not Bush’s.

August 3rd, 2010 at 9:57 am
Robert Reich: Obama’s “Original Sin Was Not Spending Enough”
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Is there any periphery bounding the absurdity of the desperate political left?

The Obama Administration’s 2009 “stimulus” continues to prove itself a failure.  It promised that unemployment would peak in October 2009 at 8%, and would be down to 7.3% by now.  Instead, we remain mired near 10%.  Further, second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was revised downward just last week to 2.4%, a slowdown from 3.7% in the first quarter and 5.0% from the fourth quarter of 2009.  Meanwhile, we’re $1 trillion deeper in debt, and the administration admitted last month that its second year deficit will reach an astounding $1.5 trillion, exceeding even its first deficit of $1.4 trillion.

Yet according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, “the administration’s original sin was not spending enough.”  Commenting in today’s Wall Street Journal, Reich bizarrely adds that the Democrats’ 2009 filibuster-proof Senate supermajority somehow constituted “a fragile 60 votes” constraining Obama’s ambitions, and says that the problem with ObamaCare was that it was “not nearly large or bold enough.”  Not large enough?  Take a look at this ObamaCare flow chart, which looks more intricate than a nuclear reactor.

So how much would have been enough to satisfy Reich, anyway?  Two trillion?  Three trillion?  Ten?  It all recalls the popular bumper sticker – “Don’t Tell Obama What Comes After ‘Trillion.'”

July 26th, 2010 at 10:32 am
…And That ObamaCare Already Adds to the Deficit
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Remember when Barack Obama preposterously claimed that ObamaCare would reduce the deficit, rather than exacerbate it?  Last week, in admitting that this year’s total budget deficit will exceed last year’s, the Obama Administration included a noteworthy admission.  Namely, that ObamaCare is already adding to his unsustainable deficits.  As reported by The Wall Street Journal:

The White House said the health-care law, heralded as a powerful deficit-tamer in the long term, is expected to add $51 billion of debt between now and fiscal 2012. Those increases more than offset modest savings through 2020.”

Reasonable people knew it was just a matter of time until even Obama admitted that ObamaCare compounds the nation’s deficit.  But who knew that would only take four months?

July 26th, 2010 at 10:03 am
Obama Admits This Year’s Deficit Will Exceed Last Year’s…
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The Obama Administration now acknowledges that this year’s budget deficit will exceed last year’s.  Their 2010 $1.5 trillion deficit constitutes 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 9.9% last year.   The administration also raised its 2011 deficit forecast to $1.4 trillion, up from its previous $1.267 trillion projection.

Barack Obama repeatedly – and falsely – seeks to escape blame by scapegoating his predecessor for last year’s $1.4 trillion deficit.  He promised as a candidate to address the deficit, but instead more than tripled it in his first year with such things as his failed $1 trillion “stimulus.”  So what will be his alibi for this year’s deficit?  And for 2011’s?

Is there no expiration date on “Blame Bush?”

Another falsehood that Obama advances is that he and Congressional Democrats were simply handed this deficit on January 20, 2009.  The truth, however, is that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Democrats recaptured Congress (which controls spending under the Constitution) in November 2006, when the deficit was merely $248 billion.  In just four years, they’ve managed to multiply that number by six.

April 13th, 2010 at 9:35 am
US Posts Record 18th Consecutive Budget Deficit in March
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Recall the flimsy, grand promises that candidate Barack Obama used to get himself elected in 2008:

We’ve been living beyond our means, and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.  Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.”

Obama made that promise during the third presidential debate in October 2008, well after the onset of the financial crisis that he now uses as an all-purpose alibi.  Accordingly, Obama’s apologists cannot claim that current realities were unforeseen when he made that statement.  Indeed, Obama himself pronounced during that same debate, “I think everybody understands at this point that we are experiencing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”  One wonders whether Obama thought for even a moment about what would happen if he ultimately won and was forced to make good on his “hope and change” promises.

Regardless, the collision between Obama’s frivolous promises and reality continued this week.  The Treasury Department has announced that March 2010 marked a record 18th consecutive month in which the federal government posted a budget deficit.  This despite the fact that federal “bailout” spending has declined, meaning not even that can be scapegoated by the Obama Administration.  March’s $65 billion deficit also exceeded the Congressional Budget Office’s projected $62 billion deficit, and the first half 2010 fiscal year deficit now stands at $717 billion, only slightly below last year’s $781 billion first half deficit.

We’re witnessing “change,” but certainly not of the “hopeful” variety.

April 6th, 2010 at 8:28 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Basing America’s Future On Assumptions
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 8th, 2010 at 11:32 am
CBO Paints Grim Budget Picture
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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its monthly budget review, and once again, the results are not pretty for taxpayers.

For the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2010 alone, CBO estimates a $390 billion budget deficit, or $56 billion more than the record shortfall last year.  This year is scheduled to be the largest budget deficit in history, but you wouldn’t know it the way Congress is spending.

The November and December results were actually worse than CBO had originally predicted.  The U.S. ended November with a $120 billion shortfall, or $5 billion more than original projections.  In December, CBO estimates a $92 billion deficit but that figure is likely to grow larger when the actual numbers are released next month.

The response from Congress and the White House?  Crickets.  It appears that accelerating our national debt and printing more money is still the raison d’être in our nation’s capital.

January 5th, 2010 at 1:04 pm
CBO: The Political Budget Office

“As the nation patiently waits for perhaps the final cost estimate of President Obama’s health care plan, taxpayers might be surprised to learn that today the most powerful office in Washington, D.C. is not the Speaker’s office or the Oval Office, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).”

So writes Sam Batkins, CFIF’s Director of Public Policy, in an op-ed published today on

Batkins goes on to note:

At perhaps no time in history has a small bureaucratic agency wielded so much power, even though the science of pricing government legislation is far from perfect. …

…Budget projections for health care vary greatly and, more often than not, vastly underestimate actual expenditures.

The Joint Economic Committee took note of the speculative nature of health care cost estimates. In a July 2009 paper, it determined that the original cost estimate for Medicare HI was off by 744%; the Medicare program as a whole came in 917% over original estimates and the Medicaid DHS program exceeded original scores by 1700%. Washington’s crystal ball tends to cloud when projecting future health care costs.

Recognizing that Congressional Democrats have become “crafty” at manipulating CBO scores, Batkins explains how they are using “an accounting sleight-of-hand that even Bernie Madoff would envy” to make their plan for a government takeover of health care appear more palatable. 

Batkins concludes the piece by writing:

Since health care entitlements never seem to go away, the affect on taxpayers has been either more debt or higher taxes.  Expect both if the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care reform plan is ultimately passed.

Read the piece in its entirety here.

December 17th, 2009 at 10:36 am
CBO: Cap-and-Trade Will Cost Taxpayers
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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts that current climate change legislation in the Senate will increase spending by $833 billion.

According to the budget office, not only would Cap-and-Trade legislation effectively tax and regulate all carbon emissions in the country, but it would also add $854 billion to federal coffers.

The cost estimate concluded, “CBO estimates that the annual cost of [cap-and-trade] would amount to tens of billions of dollars for private-sector entities and hundreds of millions of dollars for public entities… Public and private entities would also be required to report information on greenhouse gases to a federal registry.”

In short, the bill is an unmitigated disaster and must be defeated.

Click here for the CBO study.  More of CFIF on climate change here and here.

December 11th, 2009 at 5:13 pm
Bad News from the House Floor
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In the never ending succession of bad legislation coming out of Congress, the Democrats added another one to the list today.

By a 223-202 vote, the House passed the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.”  Twenty-seven Democrats joined every single Republican to oppose the legislation.

The bill is a hodgepodge of more regulations, higher taxes and new government.  After Sarbanes-Oxley, Congress thought it had effectively ended the debate over financial regulations.  For Congress, it’s never too late to re-regulate.

You can read the Congressional Research Service summary of the legislation here.

Here is the CBO’s cost estimate of the bill.