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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obama's Mistaken Calculations: Budget Proposal Underestimated By $2.3 Trillion According To CBO

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Barack Obama underestimated, the 10 year projections of his budget proposal, by $2.3 trillion.

Some will say it was a miscalculation, others may say his administration used creative accounting and still others would call it outright lies.

No matter the spin, the bottom line is the CBO's analysis shows Obama's numbers off by over $2 trillion.

The estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that if Obama's February budget submission is enacted into law it would produce deficits totaling $9.5 trillion over 10 years -- an average of almost $1 trillion a year.

Obama's budget saw deficits totaling $7.2 trillion over the same period.

The CBO's bottom line from their website summary:

Compared with the Administration's estimates, CBO's estimates of the deficit under the President's budget are lower for 2011 (by $220 billion) but higher for each year thereafter (by a total of $2.3 trillion over the 2012–2021 period). That disparity stems from differences in the underlying projections of what would happen under current law ($1.3 trillion) as well as from differing assessments of the effects of the President's proposals ($1.0 trillion).

The Hill

The White House also said total deficits over the next decade would be $1.1 trillion more without the recommendations included in Obama's budget.

Marc Goldwein, policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said that CBO has found the effects to be almost nil.

He explained that the difference between the CBO's $9.5 trillion estimate and OMB's $7.2 trillion estimate comes from two sources: rosy economic growth assumptions by OMB and offsets for the Medicare doc fix as well as transportation spending OMB did not specify in the budget and which CBO will not factor in.

The most important aspect of CBO's analysis is that, while OMB claimed the president's budget "stabilized" the debt at 77 percent of GDP over the 10-year window, CBO estimates the debt will grow throughout the period and end up at 87 percent, he said.

Whether one sees this as a miscalculation on Obama's part or an outright attempt to misrepresent the actual numbers, this is a hell of a huge difference from White House projections when Obama presented his proposal.

You can take a look at the CBO's "An Analysis of the President’s Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2011" in HTML at that link or in PDF at this link.