June 22,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Says CBO Deficit Numbers Show Urgency of Cutting Spending

Non-partisan Budget Scorekeeper Says Skyrocketing Debt to Exceed the Entire US Economy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today renewed his call for dramatic action to cut the nation’s debt by slashing federal spending after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an assessment of the nation’s fiscal outlook which showed the nation’s public debt rising to 190 percent of the gross domestic product by 2035.  

“This latest warning demonstrates the urgency in which we have to slash our debt.  According to CBO, our fiscal outlook has been made worse by this White House.  Allowing our debt to rise to twice the size of its GDP is unsustainable and economically dangerous.  Instead of agreeing to put entitlements on the table in these deficit reduction negotiations, Washington Democrats are doubling down on more spending and more debt by proposing another stimulus spending package.

“Regrettably, the President remains disengaged and continues to advocate policies to move our country further on a path where the government takes more and more of our economic pie, leaving the private sector, our job creators and our families with less and less. It’s time for real presidential leadership to pave the way towards a new era of stronger job markets, restrained spending, and falling deficits.”

Today’s CBO report clearly shows that the country’s fiscal outlook has worsened under the Obama Administration.  The path for the future on government spending, deficits, and debt are clearly unsustainable. 

The outlook has worsened.  According to today’s CBO projections under its so-called “alternative fiscal scenario:”[1]

  • Debt held by the public will exceed 100% of what our Nation produces (the gross domestic product—or GDP) by 2021.

  • The ratio of debt to GDP would then rise above its historical peak—the World War II-induced high of 109%, and would approach 190% in 2035.
    o Economic research strongly suggests that countries whose debt-to-DP ratios exceed 90% experience significantly slower growth in GDP and jobs.

  • CBO concludes that:
    o  “The explosive path of federal debt…underscores the need for large and rapid policy changes to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course.”
    o “Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis…”