Critical Condition

Obama and the CBO

I will have more to say about Obama’s speech later today, but one crucial question arises in the context of Obama’s assertion that not a dime will be added to deficits now or in the future. Specifically, “spending cuts” will be implemented “if the savings we promised don’t materialize.” Does this mean that when CBO estimates the budget/deficit effect of the legislation to emerge, the unspecified “spending cuts” will allow CBO to score the deficit effect as zero? In other words, is the administration attempting to game the CBO analysis? Would CBO play that game? I don’t know; does anyone have a sense of this?

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.