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Boehner To Tweak Debt Bill After CBO Score

From The Hill:

Boehner to rework his debt-ceiling bill

By Erik Wasson – 07/26/11

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will rework his two-step plan to raise the debt ceiling after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found the bill would not cut as much spending as promised.

“We’re here to change Washington — no more smoke-and-mirrors, no more ‘phantom cuts.’ We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit — with no tax hikes — and we will keep that promise," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

The CBO informed Boehner on Tuesday that his debt-ceiling fallback plan would reduce the deficit by about $850 billion over 10 years.

This article and other media reports make it sound like the CBO was watching over the Mr. Boehner’s shoulder, and caught him trying to fool the American public. When, in fact, Boehner requested the CBO to score his plan to make sure it did what he said it would.

“As we speak, congressional staff are looking at options to rewrite the legislation to meet our pledge," Steel said. “This is what can happen when you have an actual plan and submit it for independent review — which the Democrats who run Washington have refused to do."

Which is to say, there is no way that the CBO can score either Mr. Obama or Harry Reid’s plan. Since you actually need a plan on paper to get a CBO score.

White House Budget Director Jack Lew weighed in on the CBO score in a Tuesday night blog post and highlighted the fact that under the January baseline it can be said to cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion. He noted that the House-passed budget and Obama April budget speech all used the January baseline as the measurement of deficit cutting.

"Indeed, throughout our weeks of talks, all parties have worked off a January baseline because we all recognized that we needed to start from the same place," he wrote. "That is why it would be confusing to judge the current proposal’s savings from the ‘adjusted March 2011 baseline’ which CBO released in May." …

The score is against the latest CBO baseline, as adjusted to reflect the 2011 spending-cuts deal between Congress and the White House that cut $38 billion in budget authority. Those 2011 cuts have ripple effects over the budget window.

The CBO also has determined that taking that earlier deal into account, the spending levels in the Boehner plan mean a $1.1 trillion cut in the deficit over 10 years

So Mr. Boehner’s plan simply used the January baseline numbers that everyone else has been using. But the CBO is using the more recent May numbers, which include the earlier $38 billion in cuts. Cuts which Boehner and the House pushed through.

But the news media are trying to make it look like this was a screw-up on Boehner’s part. Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Boehner To Tweak Debt Bill After CBO Score”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    Monty Python already did negotiating with democrats…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM

    And in case you forget, they also foretold the 2006 midterms & 2008 elections…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31FFTx6AKmU

  2. BigOil says:

    So what. There is no practical difference between the 880 billion and 1.1 trillion in deferred ‘cuts’. They are making so called ‘cuts’ to projected spending where the baseline increases every year. All Boehner is doing is barely slowing the rate of growth in spending, which continues to grow the debt to unsustainable levels. From a practical standpoint, this plan is a loser.

    Leave the Cut, Cap, and Balance on the table as the only alternative and shut the House down for a month.

  3. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    “Since you actually need a plan on paper to get a CBO score.”

    I seem to recall the CBO being able to score ObamaCare without a plan. Afterall, we had to pass the bill to know what was in it.

  4. proreason says:

    Set a new baseline of spending. It doesn’t really matter what it is. It could even be double what it is today. Just don’t let it inflate and don’t let it get any bigger.

    Then, for every penney spent over that baseline, the politicians have to pay for it out of their own pockets.

    Within 10 years, there will be no national debt.

  5. Reality Bytes says:

    I’d be willing to kick in $1,000 if the Tea Party put up a 10 minute infomercial on the specifics. I don’t know the cost, but it could be the Call to Arms that Americans need in order to save their country & freedom.


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