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CBO: The Budget Is on an Unsustainable Path

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Washington, Jul 15, 2014 | Derrick Dockery (202-226-6100) | comments

WASHINGTON—Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its annual Long-Term Budget Outlook, which had some sober news for the American people.

In response, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin released the following statement: 

“If this report tells us anything, it’s that the status quo isn’t working, and families are paying the price. We need to expand opportunity for everyone in this country, and we can start by getting federal spending and debt under control. That’s how we can make the federal government more accountable and more effective.”

Key points from CBO’s Long-Term Budget Outlook

  • Federal Debt Is Soaring: The debt has doubled since the onset of the financial crisis, and CBO concludes the growth in the debt is “unsustainable.”

  • Now Is the Time to Act: CBO says that prompt decisions to rein in future deficits would expand employment and economic growth. 

  • The Economy Is Slowing Down: CBO has again lowered its projection of GDP growth, and the average number of hours worked by Americans is shrinking. 

  • Spending Is Still the Problem: Major entitlements and interest on a growing stock of debt will cause real spending to soar by 27 percent over the next two decades.

  • Raising Taxes Will Cost Jobs: Taxes will exceed their historic average level this year, and they are on pace to rise even further. Yet these tax increases still never match the pace of spending, even while they discourage work, saving, and investment.

  • Entitlement Reform Is Key: We run the risk of breaking our promise to seniors and future generations if we don’t reform our entitlement programs soon. CBO has increased their measure of Social Security’s unfunded liability by 25 percent. 

  • The Debt Threatens Our National Security: CBO warns that our growing national debt could compromise national security by constraining defense spending and limiting the country’s ability to prepare for future challenges.

The full report is available here.

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