Congressman: CBO can’t find any government spending that drives economic growth

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is unable find a single government spending item that drives economic growth, Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp said today in a statement.

Huelskamp said he “clearly” asked CBO director Doug Elmendorf to point to a single government expenditure that “drives economic growth.” In a four-page written response, Elmendorf does not name any expenditures he and the CBO believe directly caused economic growth.

“He apparently couldn’t find even one! In his response to my request, Director Elmendorf spent more time talking Keynesian economic theory than addressing the issue at hand,” Huelskamp said. “He needs to list specific examples of government spending which have benefited the American economy. That was the request.”

Elmendorf’s response contains an explanation of how he and the CBO think government spending can help the economy, but it does not name any specific programs or items that have accomplished that goal. (RELATED: CBO, Pelosi unclear on Obamacare’s Medicaid glitch costs)

On Elmendorf’s inability to point to a single growth-generating government expenditure, Huelskamp says, “The Obama Administration has been telling us for more than two years how their programs were going to get people back to work. Remember ‘Shovel-Ready Jobs’ that were supposed to appear in the Summer of 2009? Well, President Obama even admitted that they weren’t as ‘shovel-ready as we thought.’”

The CBO is an independent, bipartisan arbiter of federal budgetary statistics and projections.