CBO Refutes White House, Predicts Trump Plan Won't Balance Budget

Todd Singleton
July 14, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office just released its analysis of President Trump's budget proposal, released earlier this year. While the White House and many Republicans have criticized CBO's coverage estimates for the Obamacare health law and the House and Senate GOP replacement plans, the White House hasn't been critical of CBO's budget predictions.

Over a decade, the C.B.O. said, Mr. Trump's budget proposals would reduce the projected $10.1 trillion deficit by $3.3 trillion, not the $5.6 trillion that the White House has projected.

By contrast, CBO's analysis of Trump's budget plan shows the deficit steadily rising from $593 billion in fiscal 2018 to $720 billion in fiscal 2027.

But far from achieving a balanced budget in the coming decade, as Trump and his economic advisers have brazenly promised, the president's budget plan would continue to foster substantial deficits for as far as the eye can see, according to the new CBO-JCT report.

CBO's conclusion differs from the White House's largely because the CBO - and most economists - project slower economic growth than the administration assumes.

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The CBO said it also didn't have enough information about numerous president's economic policy proposals to calculate their effects on the budget.

CBO also said that the Trump budget contained too little detail to accurately predict its effects on the economy. The White House had claimed it would reach a $16 billion budget surplus by that year. Its projections included a $2 trillion math error, claiming the amount would be spent twice on balancing the budget and tax cuts. The changes to Medicaid have been a point of political contention among Republican lawmakers.

The deficit cuts may come up short of balance, but the White House noted they are still very ambitious.

"We are thrilled that C.B.O. confirms that the president's proposed budget resulted in the largest deficit reduction they have ever scored", said Meghan Burris, a spokeswoman for the White House budget office.

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