The Looming Lost Decade

Deficits and Debt Explode; Jobs and Economy Stagnate

The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] released its updated budget and economic outlook. Key highlights from the report include:

  • This year’s deficit is estimated to be $1.3 trillion. As a share of the economy, the deficit is 9.1 percent, roughly three times the average of the past 40 years.

  • The debt held by the public is projected to rise to $9 trillion – or 62 percent of the economy – this year, nearly twice the 40-year historical average. Total debt, including borrowing from the Social Security trust fund and other Federal funds, will rise to $13.5 trillion.

  • The CBO also estimates that economic growth will remain sluggish over the next few years, and unemployment will remain unbearably high for years to come. The looming tax increases and health care overhaul both contribute to slower growth and fewer jobs. The unemployment rate is projected to remain at 9 percent or higher for the next two years, and does not return to pre-recession levels until the latter part of the decade.

According to House Budget Committee Ranking Republican Paul Ryan: “[The CBO] confirmed what we have feared: that Congress and the administration have put us on the path to our own lost decade.”

View the full report here.