Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Long-Term Budget Forecast: Debt Crisis is Here

Rounds Logo 2016 MikeRounds official SenateLong-Term Budget Forecast: Debt Crisis is Here
By Senator Mike Rounds

While Washington, D.C., was digging out of nearly two feet of snow from winter storm Jonas last week, another kind of storm was unveiled to the American public: the federal budget outlook for the next ten years. The report, issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), forecasts a grim future for our country if we don’t begin to act now to rein in spending and address our country’s $18 trillion debt.

The report painted a picture of our economic outlook that is even worse than previously predicted. Deficits are projected to be more than 20 percent greater than the CBO previously calculated due to slower-than-expected economic growth. Additionally, the report confirmed that the federal government is headed toward record-breaking deficits in the next ten years, largely due to entitlement spending on programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare.

Even more alarming: in 10 years, the cost of entitlement programs and interest on our debt will amount to 99 percent of all revenue coming into the federal government. That will leave little room to adequately fund other important programs such as education, national defense, transportation and medical research. This should be a wake-up call to all of us.

What happens if we fail to act? According to analysis done by the Joint Economic Committee, over time, our rising debt will prevent capital formation. Without savings, we lack the ability to invest in new technologies, which hinders productivity and bogs down the entire economy. The sooner we begin to address these issues, the easier it will be to fix them.

While it will take time to get out of this mess, there are tangible steps we can take to begin to reduce our debt. We must first and foremost address entitlement spending. We have to save Medicare, reform Social Security so it is sustainable, make systematic changes to the Medicaid program and repeal the Affordable Care Act before it crumbles under its own weight. This is confirmed by the CBO report, which found that next year alone, spending on Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies for health insurance purchased through Obamacare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program will be 11 percent greater than they were just last year – an unsustainable path.

In addition to reforming entitlements, we must also adopt pro-growth policies that will allow the economy to expand. This will lead to increased job opportunities, higher wages and greater profits that can be reinvested, which will result in more revenue to help reduce our debt. This can be achieved by reducing burdensome regulations and reforming the tax code so families and business owners can adequately plan for the future. This is why I continue to work on a number of measures to reform the regulatory process.

In order to turn our fiscal house around, it will require everyone in Washington to make tough decisions that aren’t always popular. But as the latest CBO report confirms – doing nothing is not an option.

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9 thoughts on “Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Long-Term Budget Forecast: Debt Crisis is Here

  1. Donald Smallwood

    Where was all this concern over 5he deficit and debt when you voted for the Highway Bill and Omnibus Budget that ADDED over $1.5 TRILLION to the national debt?
    Where was your concern when granted extending tax credits to businesses and the wealthy to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars with no offsets?
    Where was your concern on reauthorizing the Import-Export Bank recently for subsidizing businesses like GE who makes billions in profits each year, yet does not pay $1 in taxes?
    Mr Concern, the list from you and your fellow hypocrites goes on and on, so quit your lying and proliferation of failed policies and rhetoric.

  2. Kevin W. Nelson

    I’m not concerned about the Democrats. Hillary and Bernie will keep spending until the checks bonce. However, the U.S. House of Representatives ” controlled” by the Republicans gave up the power of the purse. After the U.S. Senate ” controlled” by the Republicans voted for the $1.1 trillion 2015 Omnibus Spending bill, I wanted to throw up. You continued funding Obamacare, illegal executive amnesty, Obama’s Climate Change agenda, Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal body parts, and other things. It looks like Pelosi and Reid still have control.

  3. PorterLansing

    It’s invalid to speak of USA’s debt without mentioning USA’s net worth. It’s a common Republican fear tactic. Our country has a net worth of $123.8 trillion (723% of GDP)as of Q1 2014. That puts the $18 trillion debt in a proper perspective, Senator.
    USA’s deficit isn’t caused by entitlements. Our country doesn’t live without necessities and derive enjoyment by denying ourselves enjoyment like the German culture of SoDak embraces. USA doesn’t settle for second rate subsistence. USA’s deficit is from the wealthy and upper income citizens not paying their fair share to live and make a living under our great government. You call it “trickle down” and it’s an economic fraud that benefits Republican campaign donors and the selfish among you. Every month we liberals in our liberal states reach into our paychecks and send money to South Dakota because your state is too conservative to pay it’s own way. You have no validity complaining about USA’s debt when SoDak’s “help me and send me money” government is part of our problem.

    1. Anonymous

      Douchebag = Porter Lansing: An individual who has an over-inflated sense of self worth, compounded by a low level of intelligence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears.

      Urban Dictionary

    2. Annon

      Probably the dumbest thing Ive ever heard from you. If my ranch spends more money than I make, eventually it will belong to whoever I borrowed the money from, regardless of how much my ranch is worth.

  4. Jason Sebern

    Please stop scaring the people. The debt is not a real concern. Focus on real issues. A sustainable economy and opportunities for working class Americans would be a good start. Thank you.