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Macroeconomic Effects of Alternative Budgetary Paths

Macroeconomic Effects of Alternative Budgetary Paths, February 2013

  • “Federal debt held by the public now exceeds 70 percent of the nation’s annual output (gross domestic product, or GDP) and stands at a higher percentage than in any year since 1950. Under an assumption whereby current laws generally remain unchanged, federal debt will be 77 percent of GDP in 2023, CBO projects. Such a large amount of federal debt will reduce the nation’s output and income below what would occur if the debt was smaller, and it raises the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which the government would lose the ability to borrow money at affordable interest rates). Moreover, the aging of the population and rising health care costs will tend to push debt even higher in the following decades.”
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