(A version of this Health Alert was published by Real Clear Policy.)
The Congressional Budget Office’s recent budget update revealed a dramatic deterioration in the federal government’s finances. The cumulative deficit over the next ten years, through 2025, is now estimated to add up to $8.5 trillion. Just last August, the number was $7 trillion.
The CBO itself notes that “about half of the $1.5 trillion increase stems from the effects of laws enacted since August.” In other words, this is the work of the 114th Congress, in which Republicans hold the majority in both chambers for the first time in the Obama presidency.
Republican apologists assert that Congress’ powers to shrink the government are limited as long as President Obama is in office. This is true. So, let’s see where Congress can go from here.