Budget experts: Don't expect big economic growth after budget deal
3:38 PM, Dec 15, 2013
(CNN) -- Two budget experts weighed in Sunday on the bipartisan budget deal reached last week, saying the deal brings a sigh of relief but not the reforms needed to create a positive shift for the economy.
"This doesn't get in the way. But there's some things out there that could finish this off and make it much more powerful," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was director of the Congressional Budget Office during the George W. Bush administration, said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Holtz-Eakin said immigration reform and other permanent changes like tax reform and entitlement reform would better ease Wall Street's concerns and spur job growth.
The basic budget deal would soften the so-called "sequester cuts" while raising some airline fees, shrinking retirement benefits to veterans and forcing new federal workers to contribute more to their pensions. The GOP-controlled House overwhelmingly approved the measure this week, and the Democratic-led Senate is expected to narrowly pass the bill.
Asked by CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley whether the budget deal will help the economy, Peter Orszag, former director of the CBO and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama, said it will help by a "teeny amount."
"I think it gives it a little bit of - even without immigration reform and other things - a little bit of a sense of 'Oh, we're not going to have yet more drama and debacles out of Washington,'" he said. "So the biggest thing is not what's contained within the four corners - it's the symbolism. We have not shot ourselves in the foot.'
Holtz-Eakin, jumping in, added: "Economic policy by symbolism is not a powerful thing."