Geithner Admits: Obligations in President’s Budget "Unsustainable"

Sessions: Let’s talk, briefly, as my time is winding down, about our interest situation under your budget. The interest increases each year. It was in 187 billion in 2009. Under your proposal it increases to 844 billion — I don’t know if we have a chart here — and would you not agree that that is a stunning figure, perhaps the fastest growing item in it? And all of that is a direct result of the debt we’re running up and only a modest expectation of interest rate increases.

Geithner: Senator, absolutely. It is a excessively high interest burden. It’s unsustainable –

Sessions: Well it’s your plan, for the ten years. I mean, that’s the one the President has submitted. That’s what he’s asked us to vote on. It will result – and that is your numbers of your budget.

Geithner: Senator, you’re absolutely right. With the President’s plan, even if Congress were to enact it, and even if Congress were to hold to it, and reduce those deficits to 3% percent of GDP over the next five years, we would still be left with a very large interest burden and unsustainable obligations over time. That’s why we’re having the debate, I completely agree with you. But the question though is, just to be direct about it, what’s the alternative plan. And again, the way our system works, this is a good thing. You’re going to see, we’ll be able to see from this body, we’ll be able to see from the House, whether people can find the political will here to go deeper, and if you can find –

Sessions: But what your plan is, is that plan. It’s the one you’re required by law to submit, and that’s what you call for, and it’s not acceptable. I’m sorry. It’s not a plan for winning the future, but for losing the future…