Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, is releasing a statement this evening that claims President Barack Obama's "secret" plan "increases spending by more than $1 trillion above the current baseline."
"In other words," Sessions adds, "spending will increase $1 trillion above the already projected growth after enactment of the Budget Control Act as part of the last debt deal. It achieves not one dollar in net spending reduction or debt reduction, and it continues the country on a dangerously unsustainable debt path."
The senator's comments come in response to a series of interviews Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner conducted on the Sunday morning talk shows. The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee is also basing his remarks on reports of details of President Obama's proposal, which he narrows down to these bullet points:
The President proposes growth over and above the BCA baseline, which already calls for spending growth every single year. Specifically, President calls for:
· More than $170 billion in stimulus spending, including $26 billion for extended unemployment benefits, $50 billion for transportation spending, and $90 billion for an extension of the payroll holiday (which is considered on-budget spending)
· The elimination of the $1.2 trillion sequester (half of the spending cuts exchanged in 2011 for the $2.1 trillion in previous debt limit increase) without corresponding spending cuts, resulting in a $1.2 trillion spending increase
· The unpaid-for ‘doc fix’ or Medicare reimbursements ($394 billion)
· Only $600 billion in mandatory ‘savings’ primarily achieved through further reductions in provider payments beyond those in the President’s health law, which do nothing to enhance the long-term sustainability of entitlement spending
· Over $800 billion in phony ‘war savings’—one of the most widely discredited budget gimmicks in existence
Sessions calls "Secretary Geithner’s claim of two dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax hikes ... an egregious falsehood. The President is calling for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes. But instead of a corresponding $3.2 trillion spending cut, there is a more than $1 trillion spending increase. Overall, were this secret proposal enacted, it would produce approximately $9 trillion in new gross debt over 10 years. By 2016, yearly federal spending would eclipse $4 trillion, including a 30 percent increase in welfare costs.
And, once again, Senator Sessions blasts President Barack Obama for holding secret negotiations.
"There is a reason why the White House strongly prefers to operate in secrecy. I am confident that if they made this secret proposal public, and in a form that could be scored by CBO, these facts would become clear and the ‘plan’ would be resoundingly rejected by the American people and their representatives in Congress,"says Sessions.
"We believe that these figures accurately state what the President has in mind. But, if the White House believes our analysts are mistaken, the Budget Committee is standing by to review any concrete financial plan the President wishes to produce."