January 31,2012

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Says CBO’s Annual Budget and Economic Outlook Should Serve as “Wake Up Call”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today said the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook should serve as a wakeup call about the failed economic policies of the Obama Administration. 

The CBO found in its annual budget outlook that the nation’s unemployment rate would hit 9.1 percent in 2013, taxes would increase by over 30 percent by 2014, the national debt will reach an all-time high of $16 trillion by the end of 2012, and spending on federal health programs will double by the end of the decade. 

“This report should serve as a wake up call.  Unsustainable debt, unacceptably-high unemployment, and soaring taxes is a dangerous status quo,” said Hatch. “America deserves better than the failed economic policies of this White House.  It’s time for a dramatic change from the policies the American people have endured over the past three years. To achieve the goal of a bright and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren, we must start now.”

The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, tax policy and trade.

CBO found in its Budget and Economic Outlook:

• Slowing Economy – Real economic growth is projected to fall by more than 50 percent from 2.2 percent in 2012 to 1 percent in 2013.

• Another Trillion Dollar Deficit – The Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget deficit is estimated at $1.079 trillion – an unprecedented fourth straight year under the Obama Administration with a trillion dollar deficit.

• Elevated Unemployment Rates – CBO estimates the unemployment rate to remain over 8 percent for at least three years - 8.8 percent in 2012, 9.1 percent in 2013 and remain over 8.7 percent in 2014.

• Soaring Health Care Costs – CBO estimates that once the President’s health law is implemented, spending on federal health programs will more than DOUBLE in the next decade from $847 billion (5.5 percent of GDP) to $1.8 trillion (7.3 percent of GDP). Some of the fastest increases will occur in the Medicaid program, due to the massive expansion under the President’s health law, starting in 2014 as program costs will DOUBLE to $605 billion by 2022. 

• Sky-High Taxes – CBO estimates that without further action from Congress, under current law, federal revenue will increase by more than 30 percent in the next two years alone – from $2.5 trillion in 2012 to $3.3 trillion in 2014.

• Crushing National Debt – Total national debt will surpass an all-time high of $16 trillion in 2102 with the debt held by public alone eclipsing the $11 trillion mark.

• Spiraling Interest Payments – CBO estimates that interest payments on the national debt alone will soar from 1.4 percent of GDP in 2012 to 2.5 percent in 2022 – equal to the size of the entire federal contribution to the Medicaid program.