Federal Spending – Fast Facts

All fast facts for federal spending are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Although they represent many of their most recent reports on this subject, they do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement.   As always, verify and view statements in their full context as often as possible. 

All Fast Facts pages are under construction.  They will be reduced to 5 facts per page (1/14/12).  Please excuse the confusion

As members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, we spent the past eight months studying the same cold, hard facts. Together, we have reached these unavoidable conclusions:  The problem is real.  The solution will be painful.  There is no easy way out.  Everything must be on the table.  And Washington must lead.   Verify at Preamble
If the U.S. does not put its house in order, the reckoning will be sure and the devastation severe.   After all the talk about debt and deficits, it is long past time for America’s leaders to put up or shut up.  The era of debt denial is over, and there can be no turning back.   Verify at Preamble
We believe that far from penalizing their leaders for making the tough choices, Americans will punish politicians for backing down – and well they should.  In the weeks and months to come, countless advocacy groups and special interests will try mightily through expensive, dramatic, and heart-wrenching media assaults to exempt themselves from shared sacrifice and common purpose.  Verify at Preamble
Deep down, every American knows we face a moment of truth once again.  We cannot play games or put off hard choices any longer.  Without regard to party, we have a patriotic duty to keep the promise of America to give our children and grandchildren a better life.  Our challenge is clear and inescapable: America cannot be great if we go broke. Our businesses will not be able to grow and create jobs, and our workers will not be able to compete successfully for the jobs of the future without a plan to get this crushing debt burden off our backs.   Verify at Preamble
Recently, the federal government has been recording budget deficits that are the largest as a share of the economy since 1945.  Consequently, the amount of federal debt held by the public has surged.  At the end of 2008, that debt equaled 40 percent of the nation’s annual economic output.  Since then, the figure has shot upward:  By the end of 2011, the Congressional Budget Office projects, federal debt will reach roughly 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).  Verify here
By 2025 revenue will be able to finance only interest payments, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Every other federal government activity – from national defense and homeland security to transportation and energy – will have to be paid for with borrowed money. Debt held by the public will outstrip the entire American economy, growing to as much as 185 percent of GDP by 2035. Interest on the debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion by 2020. These mandatory payments – which buy absolutely no goods or services – will squeeze out funding for all other priorities.  Verify at Page 11
     Verify at Preamble
If we wait ten years, CBO projects our economy could shrink by as much as 2 percent, and spending cuts and tax increases needed to plug the hole could nearly double what is needed today.   Continued inaction is not a viable option, and not an acceptable course for a responsible government.  Verify at Preamble
In the words of Senator Tom Coburn, “We keep kicking the can down the road, and splashing the soup all over our grandchildren.” Every modest sacrifice we refuse to make today only forces far greater sacrifices of hope and opportunity upon the next generation.  Verify at Preamble
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