Our friends over at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) released a new paper last week examining the budget 75-years down the line. In The 75-Year Budget Outlook they found some troubling statistics, but nothing completely surprising.
They summarize that:
- Under current law, debt will double from 78 percent of GDP today to 160 percent by 2050 and reach 360 percent of GDP by 2093.
- Under CBO’s Alternative Fiscal Scenario – which assumes the continuation of current policies – debt would reach 225 percent of the economy by 2050 and over 600 percent of GDP by 2093.
- Budget deficits under these scenarios would rise from about 4 percent of GDP this year to between 20 and 35 percent of GDP by 2093.
- Securing the solvency of various trust funds would go a long way toward fixing the debt. Under our TRUSTGO Scenario – which assumes revenue and/or benefit changes sufficient to achieve solvency in Social Security, Medicare Hospital Insurance, and the Highway Trust Fund – debt would stabilize at about 100 percent of GDP.
By 2093, our country’s finances will completely be in shambles if something isn’t done. It’s necessary that the federal government and Congress make the necessary changes to ensure we do not have a fiscal disaster. There are ways to cut spending and move us in the direction, but it will take difficult conversations and tough votes for that to happen.
You can read the full report on their website here.
Writing today in The National Interest, CRS Executive Director Rebekah Bydlak takes on the elephant in the room of US fiscal policy. That is, why do voters not hold politicians accountable for bad votes?
It is easy to point fingers at Washington, but as national politicians keep abandoning fiscal restraint, their voters seem fine with it. As we head into another election season, those of us who care about the budget should do what we can to ensure these “single-minded seekers of reelection” feel the only pressure most of them care about.
We must hold them accountable. Thanks to technology, we have the receipts , so use them. Refuse to donate to any candidate who won’t take the debt seriously. Organize your friends. Stop crying wolf about unnamed disasters, but talk about the real economic consequences of spending like drunken teenagers—scream it from the rooftops. Ask questions, publicly but also privately. Discuss your concerns with staffers who make most of the policy work happen anyway.
Read the full piece here. And click here to become a regular part of our critical work to hold politicians accountable.
On Wednesday, President Trump spoke to cabinet members and suggested that the Administration is going in a radically different direction after approving nearly $1 trillion in new spending via several omnibus bills Congress sent over in 2018.
This week, though, Trump asked cabinet agency heads to draft proposals to cut their budgets by 5 percent. The USDA has already promised to come through with cuts, although it remains to be seen just how many other agencies will deliver — or be forced to. This news follows recent suggestions from Senate leadership that they will target entitlement reforms in the coming year, too.
Fiscal conservatives should be encouraged at such overt signs that spending reform is on the agenda, and keep up the pressure on elected officials to follow through on lasting, meaningful reforms that are so desperately needed.
Note: This post originally appeared at the Institute for Spending Reform
It’s no secret that most in Congress have been particularly bad on spending votes of late. Now with historic deficits and rising debt, Senate leadership is turning attention to an area of spending that rarely gets a vote: Mandatory spending.
Speaking Tuesday to Bloomberg News about rising deficits, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said:
“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said… when asked about the rising deficits and debt. “It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”
McConnell, of course, is correct — to an extent. Mandatory spending remains the biggest single driver of debt and deficits, and no plan that ignores it will solve the issue. But with historically high spending in nearly every other area of discretionary spending too, it is impossible to be serious about spending reform while ignoring trillion-dollar budget dysfunction.
We hope that Congressional leaders will address both in moving forward.
Note: This post was originally published at the Institute for Spending Reform.
Late last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their Monthly Budget Review for September 2018. They detailed the fiscal situation the federal government is currently in. They summarize:
“The federal budget deficit was $782 billion in fiscal year 2018, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, $116 billion more than the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2017.”
Receipts are up less than one percent, while the total outlays are up more than three percent, compared to last fiscal year. The largest increases in spending were net interest on the public debt (grew $7 billion), Social Security ($4 billion), and Department of Defense programs ($3 billion).
The government continues to spend more money every year, without any regard for the taxpayer. It’s important that the federal government makes drastic changes by focusing on lowering the debt and getting their finances in order. The debt has topped $21 trillion and the government is continuing to grow, something has to change.