While I’m certainly not a fan, especially of his policies like the finally ending QE2, I was pleasantly surprised to see Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke offer up a sliver of straight talk on President Obama’s record breaking deficits earlier this week.
Prodded to respond to the CBO’s recently released Long Term Budget Outlook, Bernanke acknowledged the need for timely action to cure our budgetary ills. “The sooner we can act, the better,” he said.
Wow. So, what exactly was in this CBO report? According to Forbes’ Leonard Burman . . .
As in previous reports, the conclusion is that a continuation of current policies would lead to an unsustainable increase in the national debt.
This status quo, deceptively referred to in the report as an “Alternative Fiscal Scenario,” assumes that meaningful entitlement reform is not passed, that unsustainable-over-the-long-term ObamaCare measures continue until 2021, and that tax revenues are not increased to make up for this spending.
According to the report, if the President’s spending habits continue:
[F]ederal debt would grow much more rapidly than under the extended-baseline scenario. With significantly lower revenues and higher outlays, debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2021. After that, the growing imbalance between revenues and spending, combined with spiraling interest payments, would swiftly push debt to higher and higher levels. Debt as a share of GDP would exceed its historical peak of 109 percent by 2023 and would approach 190 percent in 2035.
Considering that excessive government spending drives excessive inflation, this is an even scarier scenario than it appears at first glance.
But don’t worry, they “own” the economy.