I mean… I suppose it was never really, truly meant to be a useful document that could serve as a bipartisan guide on honest-to-goodness, passable policy proposals, anyway — even the New York Times deemed the FY2015 budget blueprint Obama released in March little more than a “populist wish list.” That’s probably why, for the fifth time, the White House didn’t bother abiding by the statutory deadline and why the U.S. House voted it down by an impressive 413 to 2. And yet… I nevertheless find myself discomfited:
A report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says President Barack Obama’s budget request would mean significantly larger budget deficits than the White House claims.
CBO says the budget plan proposed last month by Obama would produce deficits of $6.6 trillion over the next 10 years — $1.6 trillion more than the White House estimates.
The main reason is that the White House has a rosier estimate of the economy‘s performance over the decade than CBO. That means the administration predicts higher tax revenues. …
CBO also says Obama’s budget contains $1.4 trillion in tax increase over a decade, much more than claimed by the White House. A $456 billion chunk of that comes from higher revenues because of an influx of workers through immigration reform. CBO also notes that Obama’s budget contains $193 billion over a decade in new tax credits for the working poor that officially are counted as spending because they’re issued as refunds.
So, the White House informed us that the budget plan would cut deficits by $2.2 trillion over ten years, but the CBO insists that that number is actually only about $1 trillion — and that even that would be achieved by a whole lotta’ tax hikes, which in turn would have a punishing effect on our already bogged down economy. Perfect.