WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the 2012 budget deficit to be $1.1 trillion.
"Through 2008, our annual deficit had never exceeded a half trillion dollars; it has been more than one trillion ever since, despite our President pledging to cut it in half in his first term. If we don't begin taking our debt and deficits seriously by changing current policies and reducing spending, our debt crisis will seal our fate. This report shows the troubling trends of the past years only getting worse: rising unemployment, the doubling of federal health care spending, and trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.
"We simply must spend less, and I am ready to work with anyone on either side of the aisle willing to make the tough decisions needed to get our fiscal house in order. Empty rhetoric and political bickering will only aggravate the challenges we face; it's past time to find real solutions."
During his first State of the Union address, President Obama pledged "to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office."
In its report, CBO projects:
• The budget deficit for 2012 will be $1.1 trillion.
• The national unemployment rate will increase to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013.
• Federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care programs, as a result of the new health care law, will rise to $1.8 trillion by 2022 – an increase of more than 100 percent.