NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, President and COO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2015-2025:
"Today's CBO report reminds us once again that our nation has significant fiscal challenges that have yet to be solved. In fact, despite recent improvements, CBO projects that deficits will begin rising again in just 2 years. Soon thereafter, the fundamental drivers of debt, including our aging population and rising healthcare costs, will lead to much more rapid increases in our long-term debt. Interest costs alone are on track to rise to $5.6 trillion over the next 10 years, becoming the third largest federal 'program' and threatening to crowd out critical investments in our economic future. We can't let our future be diminished by our past.
"The good news is there are many viable solutions to put us on a better path to fiscal and economic strength. Lawmakers have the opportunity to use upcoming fiscal deadlines and the congressional budget process to stabilize our nation's long-term debt, which will strengthen the current economic recovery and lay a foundation for future prosperity."
In its report, CBO warns that the debt path we’re on would "have serious negative consequences, including increasing federal spending for interest payments; restraining economic growth in the long term; giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges; and eventually heightening the risk of a fiscal crisis."