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Ryan: CBO Report Is a Call to Action

New budget outlook says Obamacare is hurting workers.

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February 04, 2014 | Kevin Seifert (202-225-3031) | comments

WASHINGTON­— Today, the Congressional Budget Office released its Budget and Economic Outlook, which projects a $514 billion deficit for fiscal year 2014. The deficit will begin to climb back up after next year, eclipsing $1 trillion in 2022. The report says the federal government will add $10 trillion to the national debt by 2024—bringing the total to over $27 trillion. Despite modest progress from recent bipartisan budget agreements, CBO confirms the growth of government spending will push up the deficit in the years ahead. CBO also makes clear that government spending on health care is still a key driver of the debt.

In response, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin issued the following statement:

“Last year, I was pleased to work across the aisle to get a modest down payment on the debt. But today’s CBO report makes it clear that we still have a lot of work to do. CBO says autopilot spending and interest payments are the main drivers of our debt. In other words, we still have a spending problem. It’s squeezing key priorities in our budget, and it’s restricting opportunity for families in need.

“Washington can’t continue to ignore the problem: trillions of dollars in empty promises. And Obamacare is only making things worse. This costly law is not only pushing government spending to new heights; it is disrupting coverage and leaving millions of Americans worse off. CBO says the law will push 2.3 million people out of the workforce and will insure far fewer people than previously expected.<

“We can’t afford more of the same. Today’s report is an important reminder that the debt won’t take care of itself—we must take action.”

CBO’s Key Findings

  • Revenue in 2014 is on track to exceed its historic average of 17.4 percent of GDP.

  • The deficit will again top $1 trillion by 2022.

  • Interest on the national debt will quadruple over the next decade.

  • By 2021, Obamacare will cause a “reduction in full-time-equivalent employment of about 2.3 million.”

  • Obamacare “will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024.” The largest decline will occur among “lower-wage workers.”

  • Obamacare “will cause a reduction of roughly 1 percent in aggregate labor compensation over the 2017–2024 period.”

To read the full report: http://cbo.gov/publication/45010.

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