The Unsustainable Long-Term Budget Outlook

If current laws generally remain unchanged, Federal debt held by the public – which stands at 77 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] today – will surge to 113 percent of GDP in the next 20 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO]. By 2047, that debt is projected to reach 150 percent of GDP. This would be nearly four times the average level of the past 50 years (39 percent), and well above the country’s highest debt level seen shortly after World War II.

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federal debt held by the public in GDP