CBO Long-Term Projections Don’t Show True Extent of Debt Crisis

June 22nd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement commenting on the Congressional Budget Office’s latest long-term projections on the growth of the national debt:

“The debt crisis is worse than we are being told. The CBO analysis does not take account of the gross $14.344 trillion national debt, nor does it reflect the $430 billion in gross interest payments we are paying every year. In addition to ‘debt held by the public,’ there is debt owed to the Medicare and Social Security trust funds, and which interest is owed to as well.

“These are real liabilities that the American people are expected to honor, and do honor under CBO’s analysis. But they are not revealed until 2024 and 2036, when the trust funds are fully exhausted. Why? It’s just an accounting gimmick that hides the full extent of the debt crisis.

“Because those liabilities are not fully taken into account, even the dire scenarios that are presented to the American people are actually rosy. We cannot afford to wait 15 to 25 years to be honest about the debt burden we have taken on. It’s real, and the problem is now, not in 2021, nor 2024, nor 2036. It’s now.

“For example, the American people are not advised that the national debt will actually be larger than the entire economy in 2012 if not sooner. At $14.344 trillion, the national debt already represents 95.5 percent of the $15.010 trillion Gross Domestic Product. Yet the CBO reports the debt will not be larger than the economy until 2021.

“Nor are the people warned that total interest payments already exceed the 18 percent of revenue red flag level Moody’s has explicitly warned against as being unaffordable. Will Moody’s wait until 2024 and 2036 to discover that interest payments suddenly jumped?

“That said, the CBO’s projections are really, really bad. They point to the need for every member of Congress to take the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ pledge, which would immediately cut spending by hundreds of billions, cap it at 18 percent of GDP, and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for adoption. Time is running out for Congress to take meaningful action to avert a true crisis.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.