Robert Hurt: Budget report paints disturbing picture

Robert_HurtLast week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report containing a number of troubling findings for our economy, our government’s finances, and, ultimately, our children and grandchildren.  The CBO report found that the President’s health care law will have a tremendous and negative impact on our economy over the next ten years by encouraging Americans not to work.  The CBO estimates that the President’s healthcare law will result in the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans leaving the full-time workforce.  Once again, the American people are reminded of yet another harmful effect of this misguided law that is hurting our country – slower growth and fewer jobs.

At a time when participation in our labor force is near its lowest point in thirty years, the last thing we need is a policy that encourages people not to work.  Our great nation was founded on the principles that a free people naturally desire to provide for themselves and their families and that when the government controls the economy of a nation, it diminishes the freedoms of the people.  At its heart, a policy that discourages work and encourages government dependence diminishes the freedom of every American.  That is why we in the House of Representatives have continued to focus on policies that address the need for more jobs and more growth, including mitigating the harmful impacts of the president’s health care law.

The CBO report also informs us that our deficit and debt problems remain very serious.   Though revenues are higher than ever, the days of trillion dollar deficits will return if we do not change course.   Our debt is on pace to grow to $27 trillion in the next ten years.  We pay hundreds of billions of dollars in interest on the national debt every year, and that amount will quadruple over the next decade.

We have taken some small, positive steps in recent years to cut spending and reform unsustainable government programs.  Yet we must take further action to rein in the programs that represent over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities for future generations because this burden will bankrupt our country if we do not act.  We also need to break through the sluggish growth we have experienced in recent years and replace that with dynamic economic growth that will create many more new jobs.  The combination of growth and responsible reforms will steer our country away from bankruptcy and decline toward a path to opportunity, prosperity, and success for all.

Though the findings of this week’s CBO report are troubling, I view it as a renewed call to promote the policies we need to deliver a brighter future to our children and grandchildren.

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

robert hurt represents the Fifth District in Congress.

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