Behold, the projected consequences of four more years. Philip Klein surveys the wreckage described in the latest comprehensive budget report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (most of these estimates assume an unrealistic "baseline" in which the "doc fix" doesn't happen and various unpopular cuts to Medicare actually go into effect):
CBO: Public debt by 2023 = $19.9 trillion— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
CBO: Gross federal debt (public debt + $ owed to trust funds) to reach $26 trillion by 2023— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
CBO: Absent changes, "debt will rise sharply relative to GDP after 2023."— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
SS, Medicare, Medicaid & Obamacare exchanges to cost $24.5 trillion from 2014-23, 52% of total fed spending— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
CBO: Unemployment to stay above 7% in 2014 for 6th straight yr, "the longest period of such high unemployment in the past 70 years."— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
CBO: In 2022, "7 million fewer people will have employment-based health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act"— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
And finally, the CBO's catch-all caveat that actual reality is significantly worse than even their gloomy report suggests:
CBO: "projections for the period covered in this report do not fully reflect long-term budgetary pressures"— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 5, 2013
The flood of new debt comes despite tax revenue from 2015 through 2023 being higher than the historical average. We have a spending problem.
Her only passing nods to fiscal reality were platitudes about both sides needing to "come together" (and Democrats all cheered Paul Ryan when he did precisely that with his latest Medicare reform plan, right?) and the fresh idea of cutting defense spending -- the only federal dollars outlays seem willing to do without. The media, meanwhile, has its Obama pom-poms at the ready, cheering the fact that next year's budget deficit will "only" be $845 billion. I'll leave you with this observation from Klein: "Obama's first budget projected a $533 billion deficit in FY 2013. Now we're supposed to celebrate $845 billion as great progress?" Incidentally, the title of that budget? "A new era of responsibility."