CBO Director Says Coming Future Of Debt & Deficits ‘Could Not Be Sustained’

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf gave his projections for the coming years in a hearing Tuesday.

Deficits in the CBO’s baseline projection remain stable through 2018.

After 2018, things become unsettling. Between the years of 2016 and 2025, the cumulative deficits are estimated to reach $7.6 trillion. The federal debt that is held by the public is expected to be 74 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year. This debt is more than twice what it was at the end of 2007 when the economic crisis began and higher than any year since 1950.

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In the year 2025 the deficit is projected to be 79 percent of GDP and begins an upward trajectory from there. Twenty-five years from now, the federal debt would reach 100 percent of GDP and will lead to a fiscal crisis.

"That trend could not be sustained. Such large and growing federal debt would have serious negative consequences," Elmendorf said.