This morning Cynthia Burwell, Director of the White House Office of Management And Budget, testified before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama’s just-submitted FY 2015 budget. Currently, federal discretionary spending is capped by the Ryan-Murray compromise spending bill that Obama signed just 10 weeks ago. Yet Obama’s budget ignores that compromise entirely, and proposes to spend an additional $56 billion in the discretionary category, above and beyond the current statutory limit, in FY 2015. So ranking Republican Jeff Sessions asked Ms. Burwell whether the president’s budget increases spending above the statutorily-imposed Ryan-Murray level.
Incredibly, Burwell refused to give a straight answer to a very simple question. While implicitly acknowledging that the president’s budget does indeed jettison the compromise that Republicans and Democrats entered into less than three months ago, she repeatedly responded that the president’s proposed spending is “paid for.” This simply means that in addition to busting the spending caps, the president’s budget raises taxes. In the Obama administration obfuscation is, as always, the order of the day: