Feb 12 2013 -
The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013-2023. Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, was the sole witness.
Key excerpts from Chairman Murray’s opening statement
“The CBO outlook makes it clear that, while we still have more work to do, the $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction we enacted over the last two years has moved us closer to stabilizing the debt and responsibly scaling back the deficit. We need to continue working to cut spending responsibly, protect and strengthen programs like Medicare, and raise revenue by closing tax loopholes that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations take advantage of.”
“Budget issues have received a lot of attention over the past few years, but the conversation is too often focused on abstract numbers and the partisan back-and-forth. Budgets, however, are about far more than this. They are reflections of our values, our priorities, and our vision for what our government, our country, and our economy should look like now and in the future.”
“When he was sworn in, President Clinton promised to tackle the deficit while continuing to invest in jobs and the middle class. I bought into that vision—and I was proud to help make it a reality. When his bill to raise the tax rate on the highest-earning Americans passed the Senate and House—without a single Republican vote—the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee at the time said it would —‘devastate the economy.’ Others predicted calamity along similar lines. But as we all know now, it didn’t work out that way. The unemployment rate went from 7.3% at the beginning of 1993, to 3.9% at the end of 2000. Over the course of those 8 years, 22 million jobs were created. The economy grew at an average rate of 4%. Our work in the 90s proved that calling on the wealthy to pay their fair share is not incompatible with strong economic growth. In fact, it is strongly associated with the kind of broad-based growth that helps the middle class prosper and expand.
“I will work with anyone to tackle our debt and deficit responsibly, but as I’ve told Senator Sessions and others—I feel very strongly that it just doesn’t make sense to replace our budget deficit with deficits in education, infrastructure and research and development. If we cut our budget deficit by giving up on the investments we need to compete globally in the 21st century economy, then we will not have done right by our economy today—and certainly not for the generations to come.”