Budget Deal Will Make Budget Deficit Worse, CBO Finds

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Budget Deal Will Make Budget Deficit Worse, CBO Finds

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) sounds the alarm on federal deficit spending.


President Trump and Congress recently negotiated a two-year budget package that increased spending. CBO looked at the implications for the next ten years and found that the budget deficits during this period will be $1.5 billion higher than they otherwise would have been.


As explained in a VoteSpotter Deep Dive, the budget deficit is the gap between how much revenue the government receives versus how much money it spends. Federal debt is money that the government has borrowed to finance these deficits.


The budget agency also looked at the overall deficit, finding that it will reach nearly $1 trillion this year. Here is what CBO concluded:


In CBO’s projections, the federal budget deficit is $960 billion in 2019 and averages $1.2 trillion between 2020 and 2029. Over the coming decade, deficits (after adjustments to exclude the effects of shifts in the timing of certain payments) fluctuate between 4.4 percent and 4.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), well above the average over the past 50 years…As a result of those deficits, federal debt held by the public is projected to grow steadily, from 79 percent of GDP in 2019 to 95 percent in 2029—its highest level since just after World War II.


Phill Swagel, CBO Director, sounded the alarm about this rising deficit spending in a statement accompanying the report:


Federal debt, which is already high by historical standards, is on an unsustainable course, projected to rise even higher after 2029 because of the aging of the population, growth in per capita spending on health care, and rising interest costs. To put it on a sustainable course, lawmakers will have to make significant changes to tax and spending policies—making revenues larger than they would be under current law, reducing spending below projected amounts, or adopting some combination of those approaches.


Are you worried about the growing budget deficit? If so, what steps do you think should be taken to shrink it?

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