CBO Says President’s Debt Path is Even Lower Than WH’s Own Estimate

May 17th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Just in case your weekend isn’t getting off to an exciting enough start, here’s another chart to make you go “hmmm…”

The Congressional Budget Office always re-estimates the President’s budget.  Not that they don’t trust the President’s budget analysts at OMB, but, you know…they’re the official scorekeepers.  When you work in the White House, as I did, you quiver a bit at the specter of an unfavorable CBO score, one that says, e.g., “OMB said the debt would go down under its budget; we say it will go up.”

Well, here’s a case of the opposite result.   As the figure reveals, the CBO scores the President’s budget to reduce the debt ratio even faster than the projections by the President’s own budget analysts at OMB.

Why?  I’m not sure yet but will let you know.  It doesn’t seem to be that CBO has better economic assumptions, as GDP grows about the same amount in both forecasts (though OMB has faster growth up front and slower growth later).  And just to inject a bit of reality into the discussion, it’s awfully hard to see the path by which this or any of the other budgets out there becomes law any time soon.

But the WH can legitimately make the case that through a balanced package of tax increases on those at the top of income scale, spending cuts, and measures to help control the growth of health care costs, they get the debt ratio headed in the right direction.

So sayeth CBO.



Sources: CBO, OMB


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One comment in reply to "CBO Says President’s Debt Path is Even Lower Than WH’s Own Estimate"

  1. purple says:

    Yes, but the IRS scandal will enable the Republicans to say that the CBO is gamed too.

    People need to grapple with the long term decline in trusted public institutions. Even the Supreme Court has a downward trend line.