That’s how much the recent fiscal cliff deal will reduce deficits over the next ten years.
It’s not a meaningless number, but $650 billion is nowhere near enough to put our national debt on a downward path.
Furthermore, while only moderately making an impact on our national debt, Congress and the President kicked the “sequester” can down the road another two months to the beginning of March, around the time we will also hit the debt limit.
These upcoming deadlines, along with impending Congressional battles over spending and taxes, result in a series of Fiscal Speed Bumps down the road stretching all the way to 2018.
Here are just a few of the speed bumps Congress and America face in the coming months:
February/March: The “extraordinary measures” the Treasury Department is undertaking to avoid breaching the statutory debt ceiling will be exhausted, meaning America can no longer borrow additional funds to pay for the government’s day-to-day operations unless we raise the limit.
March 1: The “punted” parts of the “fiscal cliff” – the “sequestration” spending cuts – take effect, resulting in deep and immediate cuts affecting both domestic and defense programs. This will likely occur very close to the debt ceiling political battle.
March 27: The Continuing Resolution that Congress has passed to fund the government in the place of passing a budget expires. This could cause a government shutdown unless Congress is able to agree on a new budget or resolution.
The inability of Congress to come together to overcome the basic fiscal challenges facing our country is not uplifting news. But that’s exactly why we need your help. Only a comprehensive plan that addresses all aspects of the unsustainable trajectory of our debt will prevent us from experiencing more showdowns like these. Putting a long-term debt plan in place now could also give a boost to the economy in the short-run by giving markets and creditors confidence that we have the debt under control.
Can you share our infographic of Impending Fiscal Speed Bumps?
Gridlock in Washington threatens to do serious damage to this country’s economic future, and harm the well-being of all Americans. Only by demonstrating to Congress the broad-based support for a comprehensive debt deal will we achieve success.
Ultimately, Congress and the President need to come together and take America’s fiscal future seriously. Our businesses, small and large alike, need economic certainty, and our country needs to put our long-term debt on a downward path. We can’t afford to continue down this road cluttered with fiscal speed bumps.
- Most Optimistic Scenario Is Debt at Twice the Historical Average 07/24/2014
- Two Years of Progress, but Still Work to Do 07/17/2014
- CRFB Paper, BPC Panels Agree Budget Act Needs a Tune-Up 07/16/2014
- CBO Looks at the Long Term 07/15/2014
- How the National Debt Affects You 07/10/2014