Washington Examiner: This Congressional Budget Office Chart on the Unsustainable Federal Debt Should Scare Every American

June 25, 2019

Article by Philip Klein in Washington Examiner

Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday released its long-term budget outlook, and with it, a chart that should scare absolutely every American.

The United States has had many periods in history in which there have been significant short-term spikes in the debt, generally during war or economic duress. What we've never seen before, however, is debt as high for as long a time as what's expected in the coming decades.

The current level of debt exceeds nearly every other time in history — the post Revolutionary War debt; the Civil War debt; and the debts that came with fighting World War II and the Great Depression.

The one time that debt has been higher was during World War II, but that was a spike that was tied to a specific event with a clear end date. The debt steadily fell after the war was over. At a time of peace and prosperity, we're seeing deficits continue to increase, and debt is on track to exceed World War II and never look back.

"By the end of this year, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—its highest level since shortly after World War II," the Congressional Budget Office explains. "If current laws generally remained unchanged, growing budget deficits would boost federal debt drastically over the next 30 years, the Congressional Budget Office projects. Debt would reach 92 percent of GDP by the end of the next decade and 144 percent by 2049 ... That level of debt would be the highest in the nation’s history by far, and it would be on track to increase even more."

There is also a clear culprit for the rising debt.

“In CBO’s projections, that increase occurs because mandatory spending—in particular, outlays for Social Security and the major health care programs—and interest payments on federal debt grow faster than revenues,” the report said.

Be very afraid!

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