Rep. Broun Fabricates CBO Statement

July 08, 2011 11:45 am ET — Julia Krieger

A failure to raise the debt ceiling would be, in the words of Speaker Boehner (R-OH), "a financial disaster, not only for our country but for the worldwide economy." Amid panicked talks over a looming August 2 deadline, however, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) has put forward an asinine plan to lower the debt ceiling. Yesterday on Fox News, Broun defended his proposal by completely fabricating a statement from the Congressional Budget Office. According to Broun, "the CBO has recently said that we don't have a problem with revenues, the problem is the amount of spending the federal government's doing."


Of course, this entirely made up. The recent CBO report Broun was likely referring to states the opposite: The rise in debt is caused in part by lower tax revenues.

At the end of 2008, that debt equaled 40 percent of the nation's annual economic output (a little above the 40-year average of 37 percent). Since then, the figure has shot upward: By the end of this year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects, federal debt will reach roughly 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—the highest percentage since shortly after World War II. The sharp rise in debt stems partly from lower tax revenues and higher federal spending related to the recent severe recession. However, the growing debt also reflects an imbalance between spending and revenues that predated the recession.

Broun went on to give more sage advice to the president: "So, if we do anything, we need to lower taxes on small businesses," so that "we'll have more revenue."