Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

A Deficit Forecast the White House Can Get Behind

ARCHIVES
Thinkstock

The White House budget office and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office have long provided different projections of the long-term federal budget deficit. But on Friday, Jeffrey Zients, President Obama’s acting budget director, pushed out a blog post claiming vindication from a brand-new CBO study on assertions made in the president’s fiscal 2013 budget that the deficit will shrink from 2013 to 2017.

First the numbers: CBO predicted that by 2016 deficits as a share of the economy will be below 3 percent -- a “key milestone of fiscal sustainability,” according to Zients. “It found that after implementing the president’s budget, debt held by the public will decrease and then stabilize as a share of the economy, also a key indicator of improving fiscal health,” he wrote. “Finally, relative to CBO’s alternative fiscal scenario representing what happens if current policies are continued, the president’s budget reduces the deficit by more than $4 trillion, according to CBO’s own estimates.”

Then the rhetoric: “CBO shows that we can achieve this level of deficit reduction by pursuing a balanced plan that asks everyone to shoulder their fair share,” Zients wrote.

As for differences between the agencies, CBO explains that its “estimates of deficits under the president’s budget are generally smaller than those of the administration -- by $74 billion (or 6 percent) for 2012 and by a total of $294 billion (or 4 percent) for the following 10 years. CBO projects $1.5 trillion (or 3 percent) less in outlays under the president’s budget than the administration does, because of differences both in economic assumptions and in modeling and other technical assumptions. CBO’s estimates of revenues under the president’s budget are also lower than the administration’s -- by $1.2 trillion (or 3 percent) -- primarily because of differing economic assumptions (particularly about wages and salaries)."

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

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