Alexander, Corker Say CBO Long-Term Deficit Report Reinforces Need for Entitlement Reform

Posted on September 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), sponsors of the Fiscal Sustainability Act, said the Congressional Budget Office’s Long-Term Budget Outlook released today reinforces that entitlement spending is driving our nation’s debt to unsustainable levels. According to the non-partisan report, federal spending for the major health care programs and Social Security would increase to a total of 14 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2038, up from under 10 percent today. Total federal spending will grow rapidly as a percentage of GDP, reaching a record 26 percent in 2038.

“Runaway entitlement spending is going to leave young Americans forever known as the debt-paying generation if Congress and President Obama don’t fix the problem with a plan like the Fiscal Sustainability Act. We’ll have watched America pass from the hands of the ‘greatest generation’ to the ‘debt-paying generation’ with nothing to show for it but the bill,” said Alexander.

“This report shows once again that entitlement spending is driving our nation’s debt to unsustainable levels and crowding out productive investments our country could be making in things like infrastructure, research and development, and national security.  As CBO notes, the typical Medicare beneficiary today receives about $200,000 more in benefits over their lifetime than they have paid into the Medicare system. Fixing this imbalance and others in Medicare and Social Security so they are strong and solvent, as Senator Alexander and I propose in the Fiscal Sustainability Act, is the only way to put our country on a sound fiscal path that will allow for continued growth and prosperity,” said Corker.

In February, Senators Alexander and Corker introduced the Fiscal Sustainability Act, S. 11, to reduce the growth of entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) by nearly $1 trillion in the next decade in order to improve the programs’ solvency. The bill incorporates many of the recommendations made by President Obama’s Debt Commission (Simpson-Bowles) as well as by former Republican Senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, budget director for former President Clinton. 

Click here to view the CBO report.

 

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