WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2022 Long-Term Budget Outlook, projecting yet again a grim fiscal outlook for future generations. Absent any remedial action by Congress, by 2052 our debt to GDP ratio will be 185 percent and the burden of net interest will quadruple, from 1.6 to 7.2 percent of GDP.
“The numbers in the CBO report are not surprising—daunting, yes, but not surprising. For years The Concord Coalition and other fiscal watchdogs have been calling for urgent attention to the federal government’s dangerous addiction to debt. The unsustainable path we’re on has enormous negative implications for our economy, our national security, and for generational equity,” said Robert L. Bixby, Executive Director of The Concord Coalition
“What is surprising about today’s report is that after many years of warnings from experts across the political spectrum, lawmakers in the legislative and executive branches still have done nothing to change course, and in many cases have taken actions that dig the hole deeper,” said Bixby.
This year alone (in a “non-Covid” year) Congress is poised to pass legislation that would—over the next decade—spend $680 billion on veterans health care, $250 billion on microchip manufacturing, and billions more on an end-of-year catch-all bill of expiring tax breaks, none of which are likely to include offsets. In the end, legislation passed by this second session of this 117th Congress could add another $1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
Still, it’s not too late to do something this year. Bipartisan, bicameral legislation already exists that can be enacted now that will help pave the way for future, more substantial reforms. Examples include: the Romney-Manchin-Gallagher-Peters TRUST Act (S.1295/H.R.2575), and the Case-Womack-Lummis Sustainable Budget Act (H.R.974/S.1174). Either of these can easily be incorporated into an end-of-year omnibus bill and start the process toward a more fiscally responsible federal budget.
”The alarming budget trajectory shown in CBO’s report is not one that anyone planned but it is one that everyone is stuck with. It is the result of spending and tax decisions, thrown together in a random manner over the years with no regard for whether it all adds up, or for the consequences if it doesn’t add up. It’s time for Washington to lead. No more head-in-the-sand. No more finger-pointing at the other party. No more lame excuses for your own party. People on the campaign trail this fall need to acknowledge the fiscal challenge and give voters at least a hint about what they propose to do about it,” concluded Bixby.