CBO Director Elmendorf Discusses Budget Deficits

Considering the Fiscal Commission Recommendations

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

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Last week, on February 10th, the House Budget Committee held a hearing and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf discussed the federal budget deficit. Director Elmendorf emphasized the importance of addressing the deficit and also noted that the Fiscal Commission recommendations are a useful addition to the current discussion.

Of Paul Ryan

Chairman Paul Ryan noted that there still is a major problem with unemployment. According to Chairman Ryan, the recession ended in June of 2009 and between that time and December of 2010, “payroll employment rose by a mere 6/100 of 1% (0.06%).” Chairman Ryan noted that it is essential to restore growth in America. He advocated “low taxes, reasonable regulations sound money and spending restraint.”

Of Chris Van Hollen

Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) also responded to Director Elmendorf. He indicated a willingness to address the deficit. Rep. Van Hollen suggested that “Democrats and Republicans must work together now to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path and we stand ready to do that.”

Assessment

However, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) expressed concern that Chairman Ryan was focusing excessively on spending rather than on tax deductions. Rep. Doggett noted, “Dollar for dollar, cutting funding for cancer research or local law enforcement has the same effect on the deficit as closing a tax loophole that allows a Wall Street corporation to benefit by stashing their tax dollars offshore.” Rep. Doggett suggests that tax deductions will need to be reduced in order to address the deficit challenge.

Conclusion

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