New York (CNNMoney) - We're swimming in debt, but it wasn't always like this.
In 2001, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would run a surplus of $5.6 trillion over the ensuing decade.
That didn't happen. Instead, we racked up deficits of $6.2 trillion, a swing of $11.8 trillion, according to a new analysis from the CBO released Thursday.FULL STORY
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday offered economic projections that will inform lawmakers tackling one of the most controversial issues they face: how to balance the need to help the economy and curb U.S. debt.
If the Bush tax cuts for the majority of Americans and stimulus spending are allowed to continue, economic growth could be higher and unemployment lower in the near term than if the tax cuts and stimulus efforts expired as scheduled, CBO projected. But deficits would be higher.
"[It would provide] a considerable boost to economic activity in 2011 and beyond for a few years," said CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf. "Over time, [however,] the negative consequences of very high federal borrowing build up."
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Congressional budget scorekeepers said that a grab-bag bill of spending and tax measures to be taken up this week would increase federal deficits by $134 billion over a decade.
The bill, which is likely to become a flash point in the debate over the federal debt, would raise $40 billion worth in additional revenue, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
But that's not enough to fully offset the $174 billion in additional federal outlays that would occur as a result under the bill. CBO released its cost estimate late Friday.
Washington (CNN) - The Congressional Budget Office has doubled the estimated increases of some costs resulting from the sweeping health care reform legislation passed this year.
A CBO report sent Tuesday to Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said the estimated rise in discretionary spending - which is spending requiring annual congressional authorization - over the first 10 years under the new legislation could exceed
On March 11, exactly two months earlier, the non-partisan CBO reported the estimated increase for discretionary spending could exceed $55 billion.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Democrats pushing for health care reform are closer to the finish line than ever, but it's not over yet. And the question of cost will remain a central issue in coming days.
On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office weighed in with a key - if still very preliminary - cost estimate.
The latest bill is a mix of provisions from a bill the Senate passed last December and proposals made by President Obama last month.
Like the Senate version, the so-called reconciliation bill would provide government subsidies to low- and middle-income families buying health insurance on their own, expand eligibility rules for Medicaid and provide coverage for a majority of uninsured Americans.
It would also establish a number of insurance reforms.
Washington (CNN) – The chairman of the Republican National Committee accused the White House Thursday of pushing and punishing the Congressional Budget Office into calculating an estimate for the health care bill that's favorable to Democrats.
In an interview with CNN's Rick Sanchez, Michael Steele mentioned the $940 billion figure, estimated for the next 10 years, and said, "That's a lie."
Washington (CNN) - The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Democrats' revised health care bill will cost $940 billion over the next 10 years, two House Democratic sources told CNN Thursday.
The bill cuts the deficit by $130 billion during that period of time, according to the sources, and would reduce the deficit by another $1.2 trillion in the following decade.
The measure extends health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans, helping to guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered, the sources said. It also reduces Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percent annually while extending Medicare's solvency by at least 9 years, they added.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, told CNN that the CBO estimates are "better than expected."
Waxman said that many of the remaining undecided House Democrats have been concerned about the bill's impact on future federal deficits.
The CBO estimates "will go a long way to get them to feel comfortable with the legislation," he predicted.
GOP leaders said the new CBO estimates had not changed their opinion of the bill, which they vehemently oppose.
The Democrats are "still going to spend a trillion dollars to impose government health care on the American people," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In just over a month, the federal government's fiscal year will draw to a close, leaving in its wake one of the biggest annual deficits in U.S. history - and a forecast of more record debt to come.
Just how much more will be the question on Tuesday.
The Congressional Budget Office and the White House Office of Management and Budget are set to release separate updates of their 10-year deficit estimates, along with updates on their economic outlooks.
The agencies' previous estimates - based on the president's proposed 2010 budget - were about $2 trillion apart.
The CBO, which serves as Congress' official scorekeeper, had the higher estimate: $9.14 trillion over 10 years or 5.2% of gross domestic product.
By comparison, the Obama administration's budget office forecast a $7.11 trillion deficit or 4% of GDP.
The White House's economic estimates were seen by many as too optimistic. For instance, the administration estimated that unemployment would hit a peak of 8.1% this year. Actual unemployment numbers have already surpassed that level - hitting 9.4% in July. And many economists expect the number to reach 10% before too long.
Last week, White House officials said their new 10-year deficit forecast will be in the neighborhood of $9 trillion, in part because Uncle Sam is pulling down less tax revenue than expected. That would bring it more in line with the CBO's previous forecast.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democrats on Monday hailed a new report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that they said proves Republicans are misinforming the public about the effects of health care reform.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders said at a news conference the report shows that a government-funded public option for health insurance would increase the number of people getting employer-provided coverage. Most Republicans contend a government option would wipe out private competitors.
"We've heard that the reform would represent a government takeover of health care," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said of Republican claims. "In point of fact, exactly the opposite is true."
Pelosi repeated her insistence that the chamber would pass a bill that contains the public option, but she softened on the timing, saying it would happen when appropriate. Previously, Pelosi had pushed for a House vote on the measure before the chamber goes on August recess at the end of this week.
"I said I wanted a bill to pass before the recess. I've also said members need the time they need to not only get the bill written and also to review it," Pelosi noted, adding that House members need to see what direction the Senate is heading on its proposals.
"We're on schedule to either do it now or do it whenever," the California legislator said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama's opposition to taxing employer-provided health benefits has slowed progress on passing a health care reform bill, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee complained Thursday.
"Basically, the president is not helping us," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, after emerging from closed talks on the bill.
Baucus' criticism came on the same day the head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the health reform bills moving through Congress won't reduce long-term health care costs - in part because the bills don't include taxes on health benefits.
The comments by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf provided ammunition for Republican opponents of the two Democratic-sponsored measures made public so far - one passed Wednesday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and one proposed this week by House Democrats.
"I don't see any Republicans that have any interest in voting to ration care for their constituents, raise costs to their constituents, and put the federal government in charge of the best health care system in the world," said House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.