Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf held a news conference early in February for the release of the annual “Budget and Economic Outlook” report. Some budget observers take issue with the CBO’s projections, calling them “bookends of two unrealistic scenarios.”
The CBO estimates the effects of declines in both war spending and disaster relief costs in its report, even though it does not incorporate these estimates into the alternative scenario.
If the number of troops deployed in what are called overseas contingency operations falls to 45,000 by 2015, it would reduce the deficit by $693 billion by 2023, according to the report.
Not continuing disaster relief spending at Sandy levels would save $353 billion over the period. But that assumes, of course, there are no other disasters of similar scale in the next decade.
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