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Paul Ryan, Jamie Dimon warn U.S. nearing edge of fiscal cliff: 'Most predictable crisis'

Former House Speaker Ryan says a 'statutory" fiscal commission is the only way to solve the grave financial challenges facing America and it heads toward $35 trillion of debt

Published: January 27, 2024 7:18am

Updated: January 27, 2024 9:58am

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon are warning the American public and U.S. elected officials that the nation is nearing the edge of its fiscal cliff, calling it the "most predictable crisis" the country faces.

Ryan said interest payments on the U.S. national debt will exceed the entire Pentagon budget within 5 years.

Dimon said quantitative easing during COVID cost about $4 trillion, describing it as "fiscal irresponsibility" that has consequences. 

Dimon noted that foreign countries own about $7 trillion of the total U.S. debt, which is currently more than $34 trillion. 

"There will be a rebellion and that's the worst possible way to do it. There's a cliff. We see a cliff. It's about 10 years out," Dimon said during a Bipartisan Policy Center discussion Friday on "Building Greater Economic Security for Working Families."

"It's the most predictable crisis we've ever had," Ryan added.

"Exactly," Dimon replied. "This is about the security of the world. We need a stronger military. We need a stronger America. We need it now."

Ryan said a "statutory" fiscal commission is the only way to solve the grave financial challenges facing America as it heads toward $35 trillion of debt. 

The House Budget Committee recently advanced legislation that would create a Fiscal Commission.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would "authorize the commission to hold hearings, hire staff, and collect information. The bill also would allow any legislative recommendations from the commission to be presented to the Congress for expedited consideration. The Congressional Budget Office would be required to provide estimates of any such recommendations."

It would cost about $12 million to setup and operate the commission, the CBO estimated. 

Ryan said entitlement program reform must be part of the solution to put America on a sound fiscal path in the next 10 years, but neither President Joe Biden nor former President Donald Trump, the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, currently support changes to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

Ryan empathized that a statutory fiscal commission would be the best way for entitlement reform to come to fruition. 

Dimon said Social Security is "easier" to fix than Medicare.

Following the discussion, Just the News asked Dimon to elaborate on why he thinks a fiscal crisis is about 10 years out.

"The sooner you deal with it the better, right? I'm not a politician but they almost did it with Simpson-Bowles once and we simply have to do it now. Don't wait for it to become a massive problem," he said.

The next fiscal challenge facing Congress is passing a spending bill in March to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

Just the News asked Ryan for his thoughts on House Speaker Mike Johnson's job performance but he declined to comment.

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