Budgets Agree on One Thing: Putting Debt on a Downward Path

Although the budget resolutions out now take a variety of paths to deficit reduction, we've noticed something that all have in common: they all succeed in putting debt on a downward path as a share of the economy. It's been true of all the budgets released so far, including proposals from the House Republicans (Ryan), Senate Democrats (Murray), House Democrats (Van Hollen), Republican Study Committee (RSC), Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

It's easy to take this for granted, but the consensus is striking. Earlier in the year, we set a goal for lawmakers of $2.4 trillion in additional deficit reduction, a target that would be enough to put debt on a clear downward trajectory. While some budget resolutions fell short of the target CRFB believes in necessary to provide fiscal flexibility, long-term stability, and greater growth, all were able to put debt at least on a slight downward path.

The President's FY 2014 Budget should be released in the upcoming weeks, and hopefully it will follow the trend and also put the debt on a downward path. If it does, it's a clear sign that Washington has the desire to get serious about debt and deficits. Each year, lawmakers have become more aggressive and proposals are getting closer and closer to looking like fiscally responsible budgets.