The President’s Budgetby Senator Mark R. Warner
Posted on 2015-02-04
WARNER. First, Mr. President, I commend my good friend, the
Senator from Indiana, for his good work on laying out, with the Senator
from Oregon, one approach on reforming the Tax Code and his willingness
to look at this issue of our national debt.
Let me echo, at $18 trillion--he cited some statistics--interest rates go up 1 percent. That is more than $120 billion a year off the top. That is more than we spend each year on the issues I am going to speak to--the Department of Homeland Security.
The only issue I would raise with my friend is that we do need that grand bargain. But no one who has looked at this problem hasn't said: You are not going to solve it without revenues being part of the mix. You have to do entitlement reform. But even with the so-called revenues from the fiscal cliff, let me just point out that we brought the country to the brink of unforeseen financial areas.
To raise $600 billion, well, in the past few years we have had unprecedented one-time revenues from the Federal Reserve north of $400 billion, $200 billion-plus that CBO counts as revenue from paybacks of Fannie and Freddie. We do not have the revenue streams. If we can get back to revenue streams from the late 1990s, revenue as a percent of our GDP, when the economy was booming and jobs were being created and there was bipartisan collaboration, I think that, combined with entitlement reform--to make sure Social Security and Medicare are truly sustainable for the next 50 years--there is a path there and I thank the Senator for his work.