To infinity and beyond! This is the debt chart Obama and Geithner should be ashamed of
By James Pethokoukis @ AEI (August 27, 2012)
Testifying before the House Budget Committee today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Chairman Paul Ryan the following: “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.
Actually, President Obama sort of did have a definitive solution. He created a debt commission, which devised a long-term debt reduction plan. Which the president rejected. And instead, we get this new budget proposal, which makes no effort to deal with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—the long-term drivers of U.S. federal debt. The debt curve never gets bent, as the above White House (!) chart shows. (Yes, the chart comes from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.) It just goes up and up and up—until the heat death of the universe or the economy is struck by a Greek-style debt crisis.
Here’s what the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says about the president’s plan: ‘Over the long-term, the President’s budget would not constrain rising debt, as retirement and health care costs continue growing faster than the economy. According to the Administration’s own estimates, debt would grow as a share of the economy past 2022 exceeding 93 percent by 2035 and nearly 125 percent by 2050. These levels would be both economically constraining and ultimately unsustainable.‘
And here was the exchange between Geithner and Ryan, after Ryan pointed out the terrifying budget baseline…:
GEITHNER: You could have taken [the chart] out [to the year] 3000 or to 4000. [Laughs]
RYAN: Yeah, right. We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.
And that’s no joke, Mr. Geithner.