WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2023 budget estimates and found that the annual federal deficit will hit $1.4 trillion this year and widen by $3 trillion over the next decade.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:
“The CBO’s sobering Budget and Economic Outlook Report is a wake-up call to America of the financial crisis on our doorstep. New spending laws, an aging population accessing federal benefits, and higher interest rates are all driving deficits higher and debt to unsustainable levels. The consequences are no longer hypothetical.
“Generations of policymakers have made a game of kicking the can down the road. Welcome to down the road. The dire financial situation we faced from high debt was compounded by an unforeseeable global pandemic. Policymakers’ decisions to halt our economy shuttered businesses and forced men and women out of the workforce. Massive Covid spending that was neither temporary nor targeted triggered rapid inflation.
“Now, the Federal Reserve must fight inflation through interest rate hikes. Meanwhile, Washington keeps spending, passing a partisan climate bill falsely marketed as inflation-reducing and a semiconductor bill. The cost of procrastination and spending indulgence are deficits spiking, real economic growth stalling, and unemployment rising in 2023.
“Getting inflation under control can slow the cost pressures on our federal budget, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Spending cuts and–not or–entitlement reforms are a must. The last of the Baby Boomers are retiring and living longer. Spending on Medicare and Social Security will almost double by 2033 to approach $4 trillion. In just five years, Medicare is projected to experience a funding shortfall, and Social Security is forecast to follow a few years after that. The quality of life for seniors living on limited budgets will be eroded. Discretionary spending priorities will be squeezed out.
“We need an all-in approach that embraces spending restraint, sacrifice, and creativity to solve our nation’s financial situation. New spending should be off the table. Times are tough economically. Households across America are tightening their belts, Washington should do the same.”