Newsletter: May 16, 2013

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
The Federal Deficit is Shrinking Dramatically: So Why Aren’t We Celebrating?
By Ken Gold, Director

This year’s federal budget deficit is shrinking, and shrinking faster than anyone had anticipated: surely this is good news.  There have been a number of really positive developments on the budget and the economy over the last several months, mostly unexpected.  Just last month, the House and Senate both passed budget resolutions, for the first time in five years.  In February, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revised its FY13 deficit projection downward to $845 billion, the first time in five years that the deficit will fall below $1 trillion. Then on Tuesday, CBO again revised its FY13 deficit projection, to $642 billion, a reduction of an additional $203 billion.


Upcoming GAI Course(s):

Executive-Legislative Branch Relations

June 3 – 4, 2013

Executive – Legislative Branch Relations is designed for anyone who has a need for an in-depth understanding of the myriad forms of interaction between the executive and legislative branches. The course covers the theoretical foundations of the relationship between the branches and focuses specifically on the executive branch role in the lawmaking process, the role of OMB, congressional oversight of government programs, the role of GAO in oversight, how agencies interact with the Hill, and other areas of the relationship between the branches.


Advanced Legislative Process

June 5- 6, 2013

This course is designed to assist participants in identifying, analyzing, and tracking legislation at the various stages in the legislative process.

It provides an in-depth, detailed understanding of legislative procedure and strategy for individuals who already have a good working knowledge of the basics of Congress and the legislative process.


Director’s Desk

More good news bad news: Unlike this year, the sequesters scheduled for FY14 to FY21 will not cut spending across the board, but simply impose caps on discretionary spending, which ought to allow agencies to make more rational budget decisions.  The bad news is that by making the cuts more manageable, it’s less likely to generate the kind of outrage that results from cutting air traffic controllers or meat inspectors.  And unless major changes are made in entitlement programs, CBO projects that by 2023 mandatory spending including interest on the debt will increase from 66% of the federal budget to 76%, leaving only 24% of the budget for discretionary spending.

Ken Gold

Published by Gov’t. Affairs Institute at Georgetown University

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