Via Instapundit and the Washington Examiner, here’s another keepsake from the Barack Obama administration’s economic advisers. Remember when Paul Ryan goaded then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner into admitting that the White House had no plan to deal with mounting national debt? Yesterday, Senator Jeff Sessions got OMB Director Jeff Zients to admit that he didn’t know the dollar figure of the added deficits in the Obama budget projection he was defending.
In his defense, Zients tells Sessions, “There are a lot of numbers there.” Well, yeah — it’s a budget, isn’t it?
“Your budget increases the deficit by $8.2 trillion over ten years, yes or no?” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., asked Zients during a hearing.
“I need to check the numbers,” Zients said. “There are a lot of numbers there. What I can tell you is we should focus on — this is exactly what Bowles-Simpson does and other groups. What is the deficit as a percent of our economy? We are less than 2 percent at the end of the window, at 1.7 percent.”
Sessions pointed out that the Obama budget would raise taxes by $1 trillion and increase spending “by almost that same amount, virtually having no deficit reduction.”
This is on par with Obama’s claim that the budget addresses deficit reduction while proposing to spend more than any other budget in American history. It’s 36.5% higher than the FY2007 budget, the last one to pass in a Republican Congress with a Republican President’s signature. It’s 22% higher than the Democratic budget that passed for FY2008. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP has only grown 11.8% since 2007, and 9.7% since 2008 (when the Great Recession started). The Obama budget increases have far outstripped economic growth, even without recalculating for inflation.
Is it too much to ask that a budget director know the numbers in his own budget, and to stop using GDP gobbledygook as a cover for enormous spending deficits? Apparently so in this administration.
This reminds me of an MTV bedtime story …
Note: In order to get the joke, you need to know the original name of the song.