October 25, 2014

CBO Report Should Be Required Reading for Candidates

The Congressional Budget Office today released new projections that should spur candidates for federal office to provide voters with realistic proposals to meet the country’s fiscal challenges.

Robert L. Bixby, The Concord Coalition’s executive director, said the CBO’s new Budget and Economic Outlook should be “required reading” on the campaign trail. “Among the risks we face this year,” he added, “are unrealistic campaign promises that fail to take into account the harsh realities reflected in this report. And sooner rather than later, the heated rhetoric of the campaign will run into the cold reality of these numbers.”

Even with some fairly optimistic assumptions, the CBO report projects steady growth in the federal debt over the next decade. Under current law the deficits over the next 10 years would total $3.1 trillion.

Concord’s Plausible Baseline, which applies more realistic assumptions, shows annual deficits remaining in the trillion-dollar range throughout the next decade, totaling almost $12 trillion.

These new projections underscore the need for Washington to move forward on fiscal reform this year, despite the difficulties of doing so in an election year.

“The CBO’s report, along with The Concord Coalition’s own projections, show that we cannot get the federal budget under control by just economizing here and there, or by simply focusing on the politicians’ favorite target: waste, fraud and abuse,” Bixby said.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf is scheduled to testify this week before the House and Senate Budget Committees.

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