The Obama Administration took a victory lap of sorts on Monday when its White House budget office annual mid-session review showed the 2013 deficit may be under $1 trillion for the first time in President Barack Obama’s presidency.
“The 2014 Budget demonstrates that we do not need to choose between making critical investments necessary to help grow our economy and support middle class families and continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way,” wrote Obama’s new budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
The White House’s latest projections put the 2013 deficit at $759 billion, a figure $214 billion lower than Obama’s $973 billion budget number.
Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said the White House’s latest numbers were no cause for celebration.
“Today’s updated budget report from the White House confirms that the president’s budget plan leaves us on an unsustainable fiscal path: despite a $1.1 trillion tax hike, the president’s budget grows the total federal debt by $8.7 trillion over the next ten years. Spending increases 63 percent from today’s levels–three times the inflation rate,” said Sessions.
The Alabama Republican added: “In total dollars, non-interest spending rises $1.5 trillion above our current law 10-year spending growth projections. Ominously, the president provides no serious proposal for strengthening and preserving our unsustainable Medicare and Social Security programs. The president’s plan is simply to tax more in order to spend more: avoiding any attempt at reducing the waste and inefficiency that plagues the federal budget.”
AsThe Hill noted, the White House’s new figures play a budgetary shell game by increasing deficits in later years. “The deficit for 2014 is projected to increase from $744 billion to $750 billion, and by 2023, the deficit clocks in at $549 billion, $109 billion larger than previously estimated if Obama’s blueprint were to be adopted.”
In April, Obama finally delivered his budget. For the fourth time in his presidency he submitted his budget late after the legally-required February 4 deadline. Democrats and Republicans immediately declared Obama’s budget dead on arrival.