Sen. Casey Won’t Commit to Cutting the $6 Trillion Needed to Balance the Budget; Blames Bush for Deficits
At the Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked: “The CBO estimates that the current budget trend will add $6 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. Do you support cutting federal spending by $6 trillion over 10 years to bring the budget into balance?”
“Well, what we need to do is get back to fiscal responsibility, and one of the problems -- one of the reasons why we’re still in the hole, and digging out of the hole, is because President Bush came into office and ran up -- he and his Republican friends -- ran up a lot of deficits,” Casey said.
“You know, President Clinton created 22 -- net 22 million jobs; Bush -- 2 million. So it’s 22 to 2 in terms of job creation,” he added. “And what President Obama walked into is a difficult economic and jobs environment, but also a fiscal nightmare and a ditch that we’ve been trying to dig out of. First thing we have to do is get full economic recovery, and as we get—as we reach that point, and we’re moving in a way where we’re growing the economy, we also have to get back to pay-as-you-go government which we haven’t had a while.”
CNSNews.com repeated the question: “Do you support cutting spending by $6 trillion over the next 10 years to help balance the budget?”
But Casey was non-committal.
“I’m not going to commit to a dollar amount. I mean, there’s all kinds of numbers flying around,” he said. “Some are accurate, some aren’t.”
The Congressional Budget Office report, released Tuesday, said the federal government would rack up $6.074 trillion in new deficit spending over the next decade, with much of that expected to pile onto the existing public debt, which the CBO predicts will reach a whopping $15 trillion by the end of 2020.
“Under the assumptions of the baseline, federal debt is projected to continue its upward climb, reaching $15 trillion (67 percent of GDP) by the end of 2020,” the CBO noted.
The CBO projects from 2011 to 2020 that an additional $600 billion will be added to the deficit annually. In 2010 alone, the budget deficit is projected to reach the $1.35 trillion mark.
In addition, the CBO said the unemployment rate would probably not go below 9 percent until 2012, while individual income taxes are expected to rise by 33 percent in 2011.
President Obama has announced that he would like a three-year freeze on ‘non-security’ spending which would amount to around $15 billion saved per year -- a small fraction of the total projected deficit.