(Breinigsville, PA) Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) hosted a federal budget exercise Thursday, August 11th at Upper Macungie Township Independent Park in Breinigsville. The event allowed attendees to share their priorities and proposals to address the nation’s debt and deficit in a hands-on workshop. Participants broke into small groups where they held discussions and ultimately had to craft a budget, simulating the real-life process that takes place in Washington.
“This exercise provided attendees with an appreciation for the challenges involved in crafting a federal budget that both sides can agree to. As we’re all aware, our nation’s spending is on an unsustainable track, and every year that the government runs a deficit by spending more than it takes in, we contribute to our federal debt,” noted Congressman Dent. “The impending debt crisis we’re facing creates uncertainty for entrepreneurs and Americans at large, which damages our nation’s ability to remain competitive and imperils the future that our children will inherit from us.”
The exercise was conducted by the Concord Coalition, a national, nonpartisan organization dedicated to finding bipartisan solutions to the nation’s fiscal challenges. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that if action is not taken to change the current spending trajectory, mandatory spending—which includes programs such as Social Security and Medicare as well as the cost of servicing the federal debt—will consume 86 percent of all federal revenues by 2026. The CBO estimates that by 2035, the debt-to-GDP ratio will surpass its post-WWII peak, and by 2046, the ratio will be 141 percent.(1)
“While some of the options available may be bleak, the fact is that action is needed and that we all have a stake in getting this right. Although both sides have their budgetary priorities, I believe these problems can be solved if we are willing to work together as a nation and in Congress to collaborate openly and honestly,” Congressman Dent stated. “My hope is that this budget exercise demonstrated that belief as well. Our national debt needs to be taken seriously, and though this exercise may have been entertaining for those who participated, in reality the need to confront these issues is not a game.”
CONTACT: Emily Rauch (202) 225-6411