Mar 16, 2017

White House Budget Proposal Step in the Right Direction

Post by Freedom Partners

Arlington, VA — The White House today released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018. In it, the administration outlines its plan to rein in an ever-expanding federal bureaucracy, reduce out-of-control spending, steer the U.S. toward a more responsible fiscal future and deliver economic growth.

The President’s budget proposes important discretionary cuts to domestic programs that have grown at historic rates over the eight years of the Obama administration and stays within the spending levels stipulated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. However, it leaves some of the biggest drivers of long-term debt untouched.

Freedom Partners Vice President of Policy Nathan Nascimento issued the following statement:

“After years of reckless spending and empty promises, it’s time to bring accountability, responsibility, and restraint to the way our government spends. The reforms in the President’s budget represent a step in the right direction towards fixing a federal bureaucracy that has exploded in size and scope under the Obama administration. It also keeps spending within the BCA levels, which follows through on the promises made to exercise fiscal restraint and spend tax dollars more wisely.

“One area we are looking for the White House and Congress to address, however, is the call for an increase in defense spending despite the waste and inefficiency that already exist. The administration should conduct a comprehensive audit to examine the way money is currently being spent and implement proper oversight and accountability. Additionally, we hope to work with the White House and Congress to build on the budget’s encouraging proposals by addressing the biggest drivers of our debt through meaningful entitlement reform. Ultimately, that will be the only way to truly relieve the burden on taxpayers and unleash sustainable economic growth.”

The Obama Administration has Buried the U.S. Under Mountains of Debt

Total Public Debt Outstanding Increased $9.3 Trillion During President Obama’s Time In Office. (“Debt-To-The-Penny,” “2/01/2009-01/19/2017,” United States Treasury Department, Accessed 3/14/17)

Total Deficits Recorded Over President Obama’s Time In Office Were $7.28 Trillion. (“FY 2016,” “Sep,” United States Treasury Department, Accessed 1/24/17)  (“Table 1.1—Summary Of Receipts, Outlays, And Surpluses Or Deficits (–): 1789–2021,” The White House, Accessed 3/14/17)

The Average Annual Debt-To-GDP Ratio From 2009 To 2015 Was 96.7 Percent, The Highest Ratio Since Eisenhower. (“Table 7.1—Federal Debt At The End Of Year: 1940–2021,” The White House, Accessed 3/14/17)

Average Annual Economic Growth Under President Obama Was 1.4 Percent, The Lowest Rate Since President Eisenhower. (“Percent Change From Preceding Period,” Department Of Commerce, Accessed 3/14/17)

The U.S. is on an Unsustainable Fiscal Trajectory of Debt and Economic Decline

During January 2017, The Congressional Budget Office Estimated Annual Government Spending Is On Track To Increase From $3.9 Trillion This Year, To $6.5 Trillion By 2027. (Summary Table 1, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/17)

During January 2017, The Congressional Budget Office Estimated The Government Will Run A Cumulative Deficit Of $9.4 Trillion From 2018-2027. (Summary Table 1, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/17)

The Congressional Budget Office Estimates The Federal Government Will Run Consecutive Trillion Dollar Annual Deficits From  2023-2027, Increasing Each Year. (Summary Table 1, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/17)

The Congressional Budget Office Estimates Gross Federal Debt Will Increase From $20.3 Trillion This Year, To $30 Trillion By 2027. (Table 1-4, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/17)

The Congressional Budget Office Estimates That Real Annual Economic Growth From 2021-2027 Will Average 1.9 Percent, Up From 1.6 Percent Projected For 2019-2020. (Table 2-1, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/17)

The Congressional Budget Office Estimates That Real Annual Economic Growth Will Decrease From 2.3 Percent This Year, To 1.9 Percent By 2018. (Table 2-1, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/17)

Opportunities Exist for Executive Branch Agencies to Save Taxpayer Money

In 2016, The Nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) Released A Report Outlining 92 New Actions That Congress Or Executive Branch Agencies Could Take To Improve The Government’s Efficiency And Effectiveness Or Achieve Financial Benefits. “In this report, we present 92 new actions that Congress or executive branch agencies could take to improve the government’s efficiency and effectiveness or achieve financial benefits across 37 areas that span a broad range of government missions and functions. Of these, we suggest 33 actions to address 12 areas in which we found evidence of fragmentation, overlap, or duplication in government missions such as defense, economic development, health, homeland security, and information technology. In addition, we present 59 opportunities for Congress or executive branch agencies to take action to reduce the cost of government operations or enhance revenue collections for the U.S. Treasury across 25 areas of government.” (“2016 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities To Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, And Duplication And Achieve Other Financial Benefits,” GAO, 4/13/16)

  • Of the 544 Total Actions GAO Identified From 2011-2015, 20 Percent Were Not Addressed And 34 Percent Were Only Partially Addressed. “In total, of the 544 total actions we identified in our 2011-2015 annual reports, we found that 224 (41 percent) were addressed, 185 (34 percent) were partially addressed, and 111 (20 percent) were not addressed.” (“2016 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities To Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, And Duplication And Achieve Other Financial Benefits,” GAO, 4/13/16)

GAO: “We Estimate That Tens Of Billions Of Additional Dollars Would Be Saved Should Congress And Executive Branch Agencies Fully Address Our Actions That Currently Are Partially Addressed Or Not Addressed, Including The New Ones We Identified In 2016.” “While Congress and executive branch agencies have made progress toward addressing the actions we have identified, further steps are needed to fully address the remaining actions, as shown in table 2. More specifically, 53 percent of the actions (243 of 459) directed to executive branch agencies and 62 percent of the actions (53 of 85) directed to Congress that were identified in our 2011-2015 reports remain partially or not addressed. In addition, we identified 92 new actions in 2016. We estimate that tens of billions of additional dollars would be saved should Congress and executive branch agencies fully address our actions that currently are partially addressed or not addressed, including the new ones we identified in 2016.” (“2016 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities To Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, And Duplication And Achieve Other Financial Benefits,” GAO, 4/13/16)

As Of 2016, GAO’s Recommendation To Develop An Overarching Perspective In Order To Understand The Breadth Of Programs And Resources Used—Including Any Potential Gaps Or Overlap—Had Not Been Addressed. (“2016 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities To Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, And Duplication And Achieve Other Financial Benefits,” GAO, 4/13/16)

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