Hatch: CBO report a stark reminder of urgent need for entitlement reform

Stock image, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s new report, entitled “The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook,” which details how spending for Social Security and health care entitlements will cause deficits to rise over time.

“Today’s CBO report is a stark reminder of the urgent need for entitlement reform, because as CBO says, our current spending path is unsustainable,” Hatch said. “It is my hope our friends on the other side of the aisle will abandon their misguided political opposition and heed this dire warning to work together to reform and strengthen the entitlement programs for our seniors and future generations. The time for courage is now.”

Findings of the Congressional Budget Office report include:

High and Unsustainable Debt: Federal debt held by the public is on a course to exceed 100 percent of the size of our economy – the “gross domestic product,” or GDP – and is on an unsustainable long-term trajectory.

Large Increase in Spending: Federal spending, under current law, is set to increase to 26 percent of the size of our economy by 2029, compared to 21 percent in 2015 and an average of 20.5 percent over the past 40 years.

Runaway Entitlements Drive Spending Growth: Federal spending for Social Security and the government’s major health care programs — Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and subsidies for health insurance purchased through the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act — will “…rise sharply, to a total of 14 percent of the size of our economy by 2039, twice the 7 percent average seen over the past 40 years.”

Runaway Entitlements Will Increasingly Choke Off Discretionary Spending: CBO’s data show the dire consequences of that runaway entitlement spending. According to CBO: “…total spending on everything other than Social Security, the major health care programs, and net interest payments would decline to 7 percent of GDP by 2039—well below the 11 percent average of the past 40 years and a smaller share of the economy than at any time since the late 1930s.”  This means that runaway entitlements are choking off the federal government’s financial ability to fund infrastructure, education, defense and a host of other “discretionary” spending programs.

Revenues Scheduled to Rise Above Historic Norms: Federal revenues would increase to 19.5 percent of GDP (under current law), compared to an average of 17.5 percent over the past four decades.

We Have a Spending Problem, Not a Revenue Problem: CBO’s message is clear: Continuing on our current path, driven by unsustainable, runaway entitlements, federal spending rises sharply to outpace revenues, which themselves will rise well above the historic norm, driving our deficits and debt ever upward.

Submitted by the Office of Orrin Hatch

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5 Comments

  • Dana July 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Orrin, why don;t we start with YOU and your cronies. Give up all of your perks. How much money will that put back into the general fund?

    • crack babies r us July 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      ONE OF THESE DAYS WE’RE ALL GONNA PAY FOR ORRIN’S NURSING HOME CARE… BETTER GET USED TO IT.

      • Dana July 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        Will we still have to pay for his botox too? Maybe we can get his nurse to just pull his skin back.

  • JonParkcity July 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    What this means is that all the fighting over the deficit has been a waste of time since it has focused on discretionary spending which is declining as a percent of GDP. The real issues are entitlements, especially health care. Social security is easily brought into balance with some minor changes. The problem with health care spending is not the programs such as Medicare but the problem of health care costs generally. Part of this is demographic — the baby boom — but the bigger problem is that the United States has a very inefficient health care system. We spend more per capita than any other industrialized country but with less success than in than other countries.

    • St. George Resident July 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Utah runs one of the finest healthcare systems in the country (Intermountain) and it is NOT-FOR-PROFIT. The Democrats in Congress have understood this principle for years. Apparently, the LDS who founded IHC have as well. But there is a reason why the rest of the GOP learn from the IHC model. Greed. Corruption. Power. If Hatch had a backbone, conscience, or any semblance of ethical character, he would have long ago been championing a healthcare system for the entire USA based on the IHC model. Again, I say *IF* he had a backbone, a conscience, or any semblance of ethical character. Hatch is as worthless as most of them. I can’t wait until he’s out. Even if we have to pay his pension until he passes away.

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