Conrad Statement on CBO January 2012 Budget and Economic Outlook

February 5, 2012

“While CBO’s report shows a lower deficit in 2012, it also demonstrates that we must do much more to put the nation’s long-term budget outlook on a sustainable path. The deficit reduction included in last summer’s Budget Control Act cannot be the end of the story. We need to achieve about $4 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years, including what has already been enacted, to stabilize the federal debt and begin to bring it down as a share of the economy.

“In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called for a balanced approach to reducing the debt, with both spending cuts and new revenue. We will not solve this problem unless both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are willing to move off their fixed positions and find common ground. Republicans must be willing to put revenue on the table and accept a tax code where everyone, including the wealthiest, pays their fair share.

“CBO’s report also shows the importance of Congress completing work on extending the payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment benefits through the end of the year – two measures that provide significant ‘bang-for-the-buck’ in generating economic growth and job creation. Although the economic recovery is strengthening, it is clear the economy remains fragile. Failing to extend these critical measures would add further drag to the economy and jeopardize the gains we have already made.”

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