OMB Fails to Meet Another Deadline

The Office of Management and Budget is required to produce a "Mid-Session Review" by July 15 of each year. However, the mid-session budget review has still not been issued.

Reports are that OMB's Mid-Session Review will show a "shrinking" deficit for fiscal year 2004 -- from a projected $521 billion (as estimated in Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget) to $420 billion. Just in case the budget review comes out during the next couple of weeks -- possibly just before the Republican National Convention -- here are some caveats about the projections taken from a column by Stan Collender as published in .

  • Projections, which are always questionable at best, can be used to make a convincing case for a variety of outcomes.
  • A $420 billion deficit is a new all-time high when adjusted for inflation -- hardly a cause for congratulation.
  • A $420 billion deficit is higher than that claimed in Bush's 2004 budget, submitted on February 3, 2003, which projected a deficit of $307 billion.
  • Even more strikingly, the deficit predicted in Bush's 2003 budget was only $14 billion -- making a $420 billion deficit much, much higher than predicted.


Keep an eye out for the Mid-session Review, and watch out for the rhetoric. It can be found on OMB's website sometime in the next few weeks.

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