After reading one bearish Wall Street economic report after another, the new Congressional Budget Office budget and economic forecast looks absolutely glowing by comparison. The CBO sees the U.S. economy growing 2.4 percent this year, 2.6 percent next — and then a brisk 3.6 percent through 2016.
White House budget chief Peter Orszag thinks his old colleagues at the Congressional Budget Office are being too pessimistic over the potential budget savings of healthcare reform (via The Hill):
With healthcare on ice, financial reform is the hottest game in town. Now Dodd is trying to bypass Shelby to somehow gin up a bipartisan bill with Corker — who takes the issue extremely seriously. A few thoughts:
I just wanted to highlight some items from a previous post on healthcare reform:
1) It costs $829 billion.
It accomplishes this financial feat, however, through budgetary trickery. The plan includes a start year of 2010, even though no money is spent that year and just $14 billion through 2013. Cost the plan out from 2011 through 2020 and it suddenly morphs into a trillion-dollar plan. Indeed, the average annual cost from 2015 through 2019 is $150 billion a year
The great Dan Clifton of the Strategas Research finds this gem:
Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the National Economists Club that today’s deficits are more troublesome than in the early 1980’s. Projected deficits are twice the deficit in the early 1980’s but more importantly there is a growing disconnect between current law and provisions set to expire which will eventually be extended. Most notably there is (and will be) growing pressure to extend the expiring stimulus provisions in addition to the usual expiring provisions.
Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey has gotten hold of an internal CBO report distributed to Congress that predicts Social Security will start running a cash deficit next year as opposed to 2019. And even that, apparently , is based on some pretty rosy revenue projections. Indeed, over the span of 2017, 2018, 2019, SS will run a $126 billion deficit, according to the CBO. Gee, and you wonder why the Chinese are getting skittish about the dollar?
Just as a Congressional Budget Office estimate of the cost of healthcare reform ($1.6 trillion over ten years) threw a spanner into the works of that effort, a CBO study of cap-and-trade costs ($175 year in 2020) may have given some oomph to the energy plan which is coming to the floor fo the House. Still, the Senate is going to be a quagmire …