Budget Background

“Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., eliminated government-related debt from his flagship fund last month as the U.S. projected record budget deficits.” – Bloomberg, “Pimco’s Gross Eliminates Government Debt From Total Return Fund,” March 10, 2011

“We believe that if we do not take decisive action our nation faces the most predictable economic crisis in its history.” – written testimony of Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, Budget Committee hearing, March 8, 2011

“This problem is going to happen, it is a problem, we're going to have to face up to, in maybe 2 years, maybe a little less, maybe a little more.” – Erskine Bowles, Budget Committee hearing, March 8, 2011

I think it will come before 2 years… I'm just saying at some point, I think within a year, at the end of the year, if they [people who hold our debt] just thought you're playing with fluff—5, 6, 7 percent of this hole—they're going to say, ‘I want some money for my paper.’  And if there's anything money guys love, it's money. And money guys, when they start losing money, panic.  And let me tell you they will. It won't matter what the government does, they'll say ‘I want my money, I've got a better place for it...’ Just saying for me, it won't be a year.” – Sen. Alan Simpson, Budget Committee hearing, March 8, 2011

“In an analysis of U.S. debt last week, S&P analysts said the unthinkable could occur unless U.S. officials take action.” – Washington Post, “U.S. must reduce deficit, IMF warns,” Jan. 28, 2011

“U.S. officials must act quickly to control government deficits or face slower growth and even more difficult choices in the future, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday in a report criticizing the tepid U.S. response to its rising public debt.” – Washington Post, “U.S. must reduce deficit, IMF warns,” Jan. 28, 2011

I believe that our debt is the greatest threat to our national security.” – Adm. Mullen, Senate Armed Services Committee testimony, Feb. 17, 2011

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waded into the nation's fiscal debate Wednesday, calling the expected $1.3 trillion U.S. deficit a ‘message of weakness internationally.’” – The Hill, “Clinton says deficit is national security threat,” Sept. 8, 2010

Treasury Sec. Geithner said Reinhart and Rogoff is “an excellent study” and added, “in some ways… it understates the risks, because it’s not just that countries that live with very high debt-to-GDP ratios are consigned to weaker growth; they're consigned to the damage that comes from periodic financial crises as well.” – Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Budget Committee hearing, Feb. 17, 2011