WASHINGTON — House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told The Daily Caller that eliminating the nation’s deficit by balancing the budget within 10 years would “savage” the economy.
Speaking in the halls of the Capitol Building, Hoyer told TheDC he opposes efforts by Republicans to achieve a balanced budget in the next decade because it would “very deeply” cut important defense and non-defense programs.
“Part of this is the assumptions they’re [Republicans] going to make but if they make honest assumptions, they’re going to have to savage both the economy and national security to get to where they say they’re going to get in 10 years,” Hoyer said Friday.
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is working on a federal budget that would eliminate the deficit in 10 years.
TheDC asked Hoyer if he personally wants to balance the budget within 10 years.
“No, I don’t think you can balance the budget in 10 years responsibly without tanking the economy or cutting very deeply into programs that are critical to the American people both on the defense side and non-defense side,” Hoyer responded.
“But we must get this country on a credible path to fiscal sustainability which means in a time frame, whether it’s 12 years, 14 years, 15 years, we have to have in the short term, as Simpson-Bowles said, continuing to invest in the growth of the economy, because as Leader Pelosi said, if you don’t have growth in the economy, you can tax at 100 percent or cut at 100 percent, you’re not going to get to balance.”
The Congressional Budget Office projected that the nation’s deficit will fall below $1 trillion this year to $845 billion for the first time under President Obama. However, the office predicted that the deficit would rise again due to “pressures of an aging population.” The national debt is currently $16.5 trillion.