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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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