CBO report: A wake up call?

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “should serve as a call to arms when it comes to addressing our debt and getting spending under control,” a Georgia Congressman said Wednesday.

“Every day Washington fails to act, the situation gets worse and the solution gets further out of reach,” U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said in a statement. “We need immediate reforms that start with cuts today in order to change our fiscal future. This report makes clear that there can be no sacred cows and that the debt crisis is no longer something of the future, it’s here now and it’s killing jobs today.”

The nation’s debt stands at $14.3 trillion, including $9.7 trillion that is held by foreign countries and investors, The Associated Press reported. At the current pace, the debt could reach 109 percent of the GDP by 2023, the report noted.

“Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates.” the report read.

“Such a crisis would confront policymakers with extremely difficult choices,” according to the report. “To restore investors’ confidence, policymakers would probably need to enact spending cuts or tax increases more drastic and painful than those that would have been necessary had the adjustments come sooner.”

Meanwhile, some Democrats in Congress are pushing for more stimulus spending while many Republicans are using the report to support their position that the federal budget needs to be reduced.

“We cannot continue financing the government on a credit card, and after the town hall meeting tonight it is clear to me that the American people want those days to come to an end,” Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., said in a statement after a public hearing in Albany. “The current federal debt and budget deficit is simply unsustainable, and after years of uncontrolled borrowing and spending, we need to find solutions and stop kicking the can down the road.

“Getting our fiscal house in order is a huge task that will require making hard decisions about our nation’s priorities,” Bishop said. “We are at a moment of truth. We must not place the burden of our fiscal irresponsibility on the backs of our children and grandchildren.”

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