Ryan: Latest CBO Projections Show Balanced Budget Within Reach
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released its latest deficit projections, which show the budget deficit falling from $248 billion in Fiscal Year 2006 to $172 billion in Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07), primarily due to robust federal tax revenues. CBO even forecasts a deficit decline, though by a smaller amount, when additional appropriations for Iraq are enacted - estimating that the deficit would be "in the vicinity of $200 billion" in FY07.
Wisconsin's First District Congressman Paul Ryan, the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, said that, based on a committee staff analysis of today's CBO budget outlook, Congress is within reach of balancing the budget without raising taxes, if we rein in unnecessary spending and enact meaningful reforms to address the unsustainable growth of entitlements - working to protect the long-term health of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
"Higher revenues flowing into the Treasury, as a result of economic and job growth, have given us a real chance to balance the budget and put government spending on a sustainable path," Ryan said. "We need to seize this opportunity to put our fiscal house in order. We can start by getting rid of wasteful spending such as frivolous earmarks. Earmark reform and enacting a legislative line-item veto can help us enforce such spending discipline. But any honest attempt to eliminate the deficit over the long term must address the out-of-control growth in entitlement spending that will reach critical levels with the retirement of the baby boomers. To make sure Social Security, Medicare and other programs will be able to help current and future generations, lawmakers from both parties should work together to undertake fundamental, structural reforms," Ryan said.