The Obama administration quietly released a new budget report Friday
afternoon at a time calculated to make sure it received minimal
attention. The highlights of the new report are a pair of new estimates,
the first of this year's deficit and the second of projected debt 10
years from now.
As reported over the weekend, the new Obama budget document lowers
growth estimates for the current year to a (still) high 2.6 percent and
estimates this years' deficit at $1.2 trillion. That will bring our national debt to $16.2 trillion by the end of the fiscal year.
The more worrisome number in the new report is the estimated national
debt at the end of the current 10-year budget widow. Senator Sessions,
ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee posted this chart of the anticipated growth of our debt. As you can see, we'll be looking at over $25 trillion in debt by 2022:
The budget items driving this are largely Medicare, Medicaid and
Social Security. Both Social Security and Medicare are currently paying
out more in benefits than they take in. President Obama has on a few
occasions, notably last summer during the debt-ceiling negotiations,
suggested he would be open to modifying the programs but he has never
put a plan on paper. In fact, even during negotiations last summer,
Obama never offered any specifics about how he would reign in spending
in these programs.
When Obama took office in 2009 he promised to slow the growth of the
debt by cutting the annual deficit in half. At the time he said "We
cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to
the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot
simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget,
the next administration, or the next generation." But the budget
document released Friday shows that Obama is doing exactly that.