Sen. Lautenberg: ‘Leave Me Out’ When it Comes to Question of Cutting $6 Trillion from Budget to Avoid Piling on Debt

By Karen Schuberg and Joe Schoffstall | January 27, 2010 | 12:17 PM EST

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

( - Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) refused to answer, when asked, if he would support a federal spending cut of $6 trillion over the next decade, the amount needed to bring the budget into balance, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report.
At the Capitol on Tuesday, asked: “The CBO estimates that the current budget trend will add $6 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years. Do you support cutting federal spending by $6 trillion over 10 years to bring the budget into balance?”
Lautenberg, who serves on six subcommittees of the Senate Appropriations Committee, refused to answer the question.
“I don’t even want to answer it because it doesn’t enter the total problem,” Lautenberg told “The question is what are the revenues, compared to what are the needs, and so -- leave me out.” 

According to the CBO, the federal government would rack up $6.074 trillion in new deficit spending over the next decade, with trillions of dollars piling onto the existing national debt.
“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.
In its economic forecast, CBO said the government’s annual spending on net interest will more than triple between 2010 and 2020, from $207 billion to $723 billion, and it will more than double as a share of GDP, from 1.4 percent to 3.2 percent.
(GDP, short for Gross Domestic Product, is the market value of all goods and services made within a country in a given year, exclusive of imports).
The CBO noted that the large projected increase in the national debt is a direct result of “accumulating deficits.”
“Under current law, the federal fiscal outlook beyond this year is daunting,” the CBO said, adding that projected budget deficits will average about $600 billion a year over the 2011–2020 period.
The CBO forecast shows that President Obama’s first two years in office will be marked by the two biggest deficits since World War II.
“Last year’s deficit was the largest as a share of GDP since the end of World War II, and the deficit expected for 2010 would be the second largest,” the report said.
“The Congressional Budget Office projects that if current laws and policies remain unchanged, the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.35 trillion for fiscal year 2010,” the CBO report said. “At 9.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), that deficit would be slightly smaller than the shortfall of 9.9 percent of GDP posted in 2009.”
According to the CBO, the 2009 federal deficit was also the largest in dollar terms.
“The budget deficit surged to $1.4 trillion in 2009, the largest shortfall on record in dollar terms and nearly $1 trillion greater than the deficit recorded the previous year,” the report added.