NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

BUDGET DEAL BOOSTS NATIONAL DEBT

May 22, 1997

The long-term goal behind achieving a balance budget should be to find some extra moneys to go toward paying off the national debt. Yet the budget deal crowed by President Clinton and Republican leaders misses this goal by a long shot, according to budget analysts:

  • Under the plan, next year's national debt will go up -- not down -- by $21 billion.
  • This budget deal will spend all of the moneys the government takes in next year under a robust economy scenario, or $1.7 trillion, plus an additional $90 billion.
  • Over the plan's five-year period, the national debt will increase by nearly half a trillion dollars.

Analysts say a major weakness of the plan is the absence of real structural reform of the Medicare program. The short-term savings achieved through price controls on providers will do little to control rising costs caused by the increase in the number of Medicare beneficiaries, from 200,00 to 1.6 million every year for the next 20 years.

Source: Donald Lambro (correspondent), "Deficit-Boosting Budget Deal," Washington Times, May 22, 1997.

 

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