Statement by Foundation Vice Chairman, Michael A. Peterson, on President Obama’s Budget

Feb 13, 2012

“The President’s budget includes items on both sides of the ledger that would reduce deficits over the next ten years, compared to current policy. Unfortunately, these measures are not sufficient to put America on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. Even under optimistic assumptions, the President’s own numbers show debt rising rapidly after 2022 and reaching levels that would put the economy at risk.

“The true test of any fiscal plan is whether or not it stabilizes the federal debt as a percentage of the economy. Making minor changes to the tax system and focusing on cuts to short-term discretionary spending will simply not get the job done. We must address the structural drivers of our long-term debt, including entitlement growth and our inefficient tax system.

“Solving the long-term problem need not put the recovery at risk. Credible long-term plans exist that could be agreed upon now and implemented when the economy is stronger, giving the economy a boost of confidence in the short term and putting America on a much more sustainable and prosperous path for the long term.

“It’s time for our political leaders to set ideology aside and make the tough choices and compromises needed to get our fiscal house in order.”

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