Chairman Whitehouse Statement on CBO Baseline

Washington, D.C.—Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, issued a statement following the annual release of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook:

“Today’s CBO baseline confirms that Democrats’ investments to jumpstart our recovery and promote a stronger economy worked: CBO is now projecting faster economic growth, lower deficits, and lower unemployment. 

“Despite coordinated obstruction from the fossil fuel industry and its Republican minions, Democrats passed the largest climate investment in history while reducing the deficit.  It is proving to be even more popular than predicted, lowering costs for even more families, accelerating our transition to clean energy even faster, and spurring record-breaking private investment.  According to Goldman Sachs, every dollar invested through the Inflation Reduction Act generates $2.50 in private investment. 

“Yet Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to repeal it.  For all their harping about deficits, Republicans would rather reward their wealthy donors: when Republicans were in charge, they passed budget-busting tax cuts for the ultra-rich, and House Republicans voted this Congress to defund the IRS in order to protect wealthy tax cheats, thereby increasing the deficit.  While Republicans claim to have abandoned proposals to slash Social Security and Medicare, they refuse to make the wealthy pay their fair share to adequately fund them, leaving no plan to preserve these vital programs.”

Key takeaways from CBO’s report include:

  • CBO projects faster economic growth over the next 10 years, increasing GDP by $7 trillion relative to its previous forecasts.
  • Over the next 10 years, CBO predicts the deficit will be $1.4 trillion (7 percent) less than its previous projections.
  • As a result of smaller deficits and faster growth, debt as a share of the economy will be 5 percentage points lower by 2033 than CBO’s previous projections.
  • Over the next 10 years, CBO projects wage growth will remain above its pre-pandemic average (2015-2019).

CBO attributes increasing federal spending primarily to the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare. Senator Whitehouse has introduced the Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act, which Social Security and Medicare actuaries found would indefinitely extend the solvency of both programs by making the nation’s highest earners contribute their fair share.  There have been no Republican counterproposals introduced to shore up these programs.