CBO Letter to Rep. Ryan re Stimulus Debt Service

by Bruce Webb
Reader Movie Guy suggests that the following letter and table merit some discussion. It seems to speak for itself but the whole thing is short enough simply to post (I deleted some returns and added some commas to save space, the original PDF is here CBO Letter to Rep. Ryan). Please add any contributions in comments.

Honorable Paul Ryan, Ranking Member, Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Congressman:

As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the costs of additional debt service that would result from enacting H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Such costs are not included in CBO’s cost estimates for individual pieces of legislation and are not counted for Congressional scorekeeping purposes for such legislation.

Under CBO’s current economic assumptions and assuming that none of the direct budgetary effects of H.R. 1 are offset by future legislation, CBO estimates that the government’s interest costs would increase by $0.7 billion in fiscal year 2009 and by a total of $347 billion over the 2009-2019 period (see enclosed table).

If you would like any additional information, we would be happy to
provide it. The CBO staff contact is (redacted).

Sincerely, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director