Zients zigzags

Below John writes about the testimony of Acting OMB Director Jeff Zients before the Senate Budget Committee yesterday. Senator Sessions manfully sought to elicit a straightforward answer to a straightforward question. Does Obama’sFY 2013 budget increase spending over the levels provided under current law?

Conn Carroll has a good account of the exchange in this Washington Examiner post. Carroll points out that Zients not only refused to answer the straightforward question about spending levels. He also evaded Senator Sessions’s question whether he would consider resigning his office if the implication that spending would not increase more than current law provides proved false. You really have to see this.

What’s going on here? This is a multiple choice test. (a) If Zients answers the question about spending levels, the boss will administer a cyanide capsule to him back at the office. (b) Zients really, really wants Obama’s nomination as OMB Director. (c) Zients is under strict orders to protect Obama’s false talking points. (d) All of the above.

The GOP Budget Committee explains: “[T]he White House has repeatedly claimed that their budget contains $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. In truth, the budget plan submitted by the president would increase spending by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years relative to current projections. Over that time, the federal government will spend a total of $47 trillion, up from $45.5 trillion projected under the already enacted Budget Control Act—producing by the president’s own projections an additional $11.2 trillion in gross debt.” To view a detailed breakdown of proposed spending increases using numbers from President Obama’s own budget, please click here.


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