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CBO Predicts Despite GOP-Led Spending Standoff, Federal Debt Set to Soar



The U.S. debt shall experience a historic surge in the next 30 years, reaching 181 percent of the country’s economic output, despite the high-stakes standoff orchestrated by Republicans this spring to supposedly improve the nation’s fiscal health.

According to the latest forecast by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan entity responsible for financial evaluations on Capitol Hill, the government’s long-term finances have been described as “challenging” and pose a future threat to the U.S. economy.

Over the next three decades, the deficit, which represents the annual imbalance between federal spending and tax revenue, is expected to decrease as a percentage of the economy before rising again, eventually reaching levels unseen since World War II by 2053.

This yearly deficit contributes to the federal debt held by the public, which the CBO predicts will surpass its historical high and reach 107 percent of the country’s GDP by 2029. Furthermore, this debt is projected to continue growing and reach 181 percent of GDP by 2053.

These predictions rely on various assumptions regarding the strength of the U.S. economy, the uncertainty surrounding interest rates, the state of the workforce, and the government’s ongoing battle against inflation. The forecast shows a modest improvement compared to the previous CBO projection from July 2022, partly attributed to the adoption of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The deal, negotiated between President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), imposes limits on federal spending and suspends the debt ceiling until 2025.

‘You don’t have another option’: Inside the Biden, McCarthy debt ceiling deal

However, the CBO still warns of “significant risks” to the country’s long-term fiscal climate, emphasizing that its predictions are contingent on Congress adhering to current legislation. Nonetheless, lawmakers openly acknowledge their intention to disregard the recently passed spending caps, with Republicans eager to increase defense spending and Democrats pushing for more funding in areas such as health, education, and welfare programs.

Meanwhile, GOP leaders aim to extend certain tax cuts for businesses and individuals obtained during Donald Trump’s presidency in 2017. These tax cuts are set to expire in two years and are considered a “significant source” of future federal revenue growth, unless lawmakers choose to reinstate them.

The CBO report emphasizes the complex decisions that lie ahead for U.S. policymakers, who face the challenge of improving the nation’s finances while grappling with their own political agendas.

Budget hawks generally view high federal debt as a hindrance to the economy and a threat to fiscal health and national security. The CBO report warns that consistent deficits exceeding the country’s yearly output could impede future growth and increase the cost of servicing debt held by foreign entities. However, other experts adopt a more flexible stance, arguing that drastic cost-cutting measures could also harm the economy and its workforce.

Nevertheless, Republicans took control of the House in January and immediately launched efforts to drastically reduce federal spending by billions of dollars. McCarthy and his allies delayed raising the debt ceiling, the maximum borrowing limit for the U.S., in an attempt to force Biden to accept significant spending cuts. This move brought the government dangerously close to its first-ever default, which could have triggered a


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