Sen. Bill Nelson, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the Obama budget will have to be revised in light of the latest Congressional Budget Office projections.
By Mary Lu Carnevale
The Wall Street Journal
The Florida Democrat said in an interview on Fox News Channel this morning that “we’re going to have to go back and rework this whole thing, and that’s going to be done this week in the Budget Committee.” He later added that “Kent Conrad, our chairman of the Budget Committee, is definitely going to have to be Merlin.” CBO numbers released Friday show federal deficits over the next decade will exceed President Barack Obama’s projections by $2.3 trillion.
Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, had warned on Friday that cuts would be forthcoming. “The reality is, we are going to have to make adjustments to the president’s budget if we want to keep the deficit on a downward trajectory,” he said.
So where does Nelson say the money is coming from? “You have to finagle with the numbers,” he said. “You want to keep on the three main themes of the president, which is the environment, health and education.”
Pressed for specifics, Nelson said: “Well, you’re going to have to redo health care so that some of its upfront costs are less, so that you bring down the cost over the 10-year period. Likewise, you’re going to have to speed up the revenues coming in from such things as possibly a cigarette tax, possibly — as the cap-and-trade — going into climate control.”
Getting cap-and-trade legislation – opponents call it “cap and tax” — and a higher cigarette tax through Congress, however, might require more than one Merlin.