The Obama administration’s focus on savings in its budget proposal only tells part of the story.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has found that the president’s midsession review of next year’s budget shows decreased federal spending for only 2013 and 2014, but includes revisions to increase spending each year afterward until 2023.
The mid-year changes to the budget estimates have added another $154 billion to the original budget estimates submitted back in April, despite sequestration cuts taking place in the interim.
Budget expert Veronique de Rugy argued that “a better view of the midsession review would be obtained by not focusing solely on the near term, to the exclusion of the future.”
Conclusions about failing to cut spending come while the Obama administration is preparing for a debt ceiling fight in October. House Speaker John Boehner vowed recently in USA Today to tie an approval for a debt ceiling increase to real spending cuts.
“The American people know that Washington has a spending problem,” the speaker wrote, “and they won’t support another increase in the debt limit without meaningful action to reduce spending and reform government.”
The Congressional Budget Office anticipates another $6.3 trillion of spending in the next decade.
Boehner has warned that he is gearing up for “a whale of a fight” over raising the debt ceiling and hopes to see a real cut in spending this time.
But new Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has been adamant that the Obama administration will not participate in any such talks. He told CNBC “the president has been very clear. We are not going to be negotiating over the debt limit.”
Lew went on to call fighting over spending cuts while the debt ceiling remains in question “another self-inflicted wound.”
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