Clinton Budget Comes Up Short

The Clinton administration's fiscal 1998 budget plan would result in a deficit of at least $50 billion if Congressional Budget Office economic assumptions are used, CBO Director June O'Neill said today.

O'Neill told the House Budget Committee that, using administration spending figures and CBO assumptions, the deficit would "most likely" be larger than $50 billion. "It's unlikely it would be lower," O'Neill said, adding that the CBO will have a complete evaluation of the Clinton budget proposal by the end of the month.

O'Neill also said she is not certain the administration's "trigger" mechanisms would work. Under the triggers, tax cuts would be eliminated and spending reduced if OMB economic assumptions prove overly optimistic. "Across-the-board cuts ... have always been problematic," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said the CBO estimates the Clinton budget would not be in balance because the CBO uses more conservative economic assumptions than the OMB, particularly certain measures of the gross domestic product.

"Although CBO has not completed its analysis of the administration's projections, clearly the differences in comparable projections of both outlays and revenues stem largely from the small differences in economic assumptions," she said. And while the differences are small, she said, they are "significant for policymakers who are aiming to balance the budget in 2002."

House Budget ranking member John Spratt, D-S.C., questioned the CBO's economic assumptions, saying, "This is not an exact science." But O'Neill countered the CBO has had more accurate projections of the size of the deficit than has the Office of Management and Budget.

House Budget Chairman Kasich defended the CBO, saying it was not created as a "tool or lackey" for congressional leaders. And he warned he would resist any attempt by Republicans to adopt rosy economic assumptions to allow Congress to pass a larger tax cut. "I'm not going to go for it," he said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.