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Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama is Withholding Key Budget Information Till AFTER Healthcare Vote

Almost every economic projection created by the Obama administration has been too optimistic. Now the government is hiding the "proof" his revised budget report till Congress goes on recess, supposedly after they vote on his health care bill.

When the President first presented his budget, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the 2010 deficit to be 100 billion dollars higher than the Administration. The CBO was criticized as always using the worst case scenario. We know now that it not the case, it turned out to be much worse. The depth of the recession has driven tax revenues way down, and even the CBO projections of the deficit are too conservative.

With the Obama administration's lousy track record on projections it is justified for people to be weary about what the rest of the President's agenda will do to the economy, how "off" will Obama's projections be, and how much larger will be that deficit hole he is creating in the US Economy.

One important benchmark to look at is President's revised budget. Due mid-July this report is will update his original numbers to take into account actual spending and and revenue will revising his projections based on those new numbers. All accounts predict that the new budget numbers will be on the depressing side, which is why it is key for Congress to see the revised budget before they vote on the Obamacare plan.

The President wants to see a healthcare plan before the August recess. A revised budget containing bad news would certainly weaken congressional support for Obamacare. That's why the "transparent" presidency of Barack Obama is hiding his revised budget till after his health care deadline.
White House putting off release of budget By TOM RAUM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

The White House budget director, Peter Orszag, said on Sunday that the administration believes the "chances are high" of getting a health care bill by then. But new analyses showing runaway costs are jeopardizing Senate passage.

"Instead of a dream, this routine report could be a nightmare," Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department official and White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, said of the delayed budget update. "There are some things that can't be escaped."

The administration earlier this year predicted that unemployment would peak at about 9 percent without a big stimulus package and 8 percent with one. Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5 percent in June and appears headed for double digits.

Obama's current forecast anticipates 3.2 percent growth next year, then 4 percent or higher growth from 2011 to 2013. Private forecasts are less optimistic, especially for next year.

Any downward revision in growth or revenue projections would mean that budget deficits would be far higher than the administration is now suggesting....A Washington Post-ABC News survey released Monday shows approval of Obama's handling of health-care reform slipping below 50 percent for the first time. The poll also found support eroding on how Obama is dealing with other issues that are important to Americans right now - the economy, unemployment and the swelling budget deficit.

The Democratic-controlled Congress is reeling from last week's testimony by the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, that the main health care proposals Congress is considering would not reduce costs - as Obama has insisted - but "significantly expand" the federal financial responsibility for health care.

That gave ammunition to Republican critics of the bill.

Late last week, Obama vowed anew that "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."

The nation's debt - the total of accumulated annual budget deficits - now stands at $11.6 trillion. In the scheme of things, that's more important than talking about the "deficit," which only looks at a one-year slice of bookkeeping and totally ignores previous indebtedness that is still outstanding.

Even so, the administration has projected that the annual deficit for the current budget year will hit $1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion. Private forecasters suggest that shortfall may actually top $2 trillion.

The administration has projected that the annual deficit for the current budget year will hit $1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion. Private forecasters suggest that shortfall may top $2 trillion.

If a higher deficit and lower growth numbers are not part of the administration's budget update, that will lead to charges that the White House is manipulating its figures to offer too rosy an outlook - the same criticism leveled at previous administrations.

The midsession review by the White House's Office of Management and Budget will likely reflect weaker numbers. But where is it?

White House officials say it is now expected in mid-August. They blame the delay on the fact that this is a transition year between presidencies and note that Obama didn't release his full budget until early May - instead of the first week in February, when he put out just an outline.

Still, the update mainly involves plugging in changes in economic indicators, not revising program-by-program details. And indicators such as unemployment and gross domestic product changes have been public knowledge for some time.
At a time when Congress is judging whether to commit trillions of dollars on Health Care and Cap and Trade, the Obama administration is hiding key information because it might hurt his agenda.

More on this story at Hot Air


1 comment:

commoncents said...

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