The Corner

Obama’s Budget Nominee Can’t Defend His Budget

The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing Thursday to consider the nomination of Heather Higginbottom for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Her qualifications? Well, she was policy director for Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.) and an adviser on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Any formal budget experience? You already know the answer.

Higginbottom had the unenviable task of trying to defend President Obama’s spending spree budget for 2012, and the claims by the president and her boss, OMB director Jack Lew, that the budget allows us to “live within our means,” “spend money that we have each year,” and “begin paying down our debt;” or that borrowing money to pay interest on the national debt somehow ‘doesn’t count’ in terms of adding to that debt.

Claims that, according to a number of fact-checking groups, are demonstrably false. Even Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has admitted this much (see here and here). It’s not a matter of opinion.

Either way, the White House nominee did not seem very up to the task. She received a fierce grilling from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), the ranking Republican on the committee, who has made it his mission to challenge the breathtaking array of mistruths, canards, falsehoods, and outright fiction emanating from the White House in regard to the budget (more on that here). Higginbottom seems like a nice enough person, but Sessions ultimately outs her as a poor saleswoman selling an even poorer product. But hey, at least she’s qualified!

Here’s the video:

In reality, President Obama’s budget adds $13 trillion to the national debt and never comes close to balancing the budget — unless a $600 billion deficit counts as ‘close,’ because that’s as close as it gets using real math, as opposed the “post-modern, through-the-looking glass” variety Obama seems to favor. By comparison, the largest annual deficit under George W. Bush was $450 billion.

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...


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