WASHINGTON D.C. – During a recent hearing on a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) focused on the fiscal challenges facing the country, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said that the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook was threatened by America’s growing debt.
“It is clear from CBO’s analysis that rapidly growing public sector debt threatens America’s economic future,” said Chairman Enzi. “Congress must take action now to boost our economic growth, reform the programs that drive up the debt, and provide a fiscal future that is secure for retirees and workers alike, as well as for generations yet to come.”
Chairman Enzi noted that the nation’s fiscal future is not worsening because we are starving the federal government for resources. In fact, Congress is already spending more tax revenue than at any point in history. Currently, government’s revenues equal 17.7 percent of GDP, and that percentage is growing.
Spending equals 20.3 percent of GDP, and will accelerate rapidly as the population ages and health care costs continue their relentless rise. CBO estimates that federal spending on Social Security and major health care programs will more than double as a share of GDP by 2040, relative to their historical average.
Enzi said that unless we choose to cancel the remaining federal spending, most of this additional spending would be funded through debt. That means, according to CBO, the interest expenses of the federal government will more than triple in the next 25 years.
“President John F. Kennedy said the best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining – that same logic should be applied to boosting our economy and addressing our long-term fiscal challenges.” Chairman Enzi said. “Instead of waiting for another crisis or recession or watching our debt grow, we should take action on these critical fiscal challenges facing our nation now. By working together on real reforms and real solutions, we can achieve real results, which is what hardworking American families want and deserve.”