The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is an independent, non-partisan organization that analyzes Congressional policies regarding budgetary and economic issues. According to the CBO, the federal budget deficit this year will rise in relation to the size of the economy for the first time in the past six years. While it almost sounds good to hear that the deficit had been decreasing, the fact of the matter is that the CBO estimates the 2016 deficit at approximately $544 BILLION – that’s HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS…in a single year. Decreasing or not, that still leaves us in the red. This is projected to increase our debt load to about 76% of GDP by the end of 2016, an increase of 2% since last year. From the chart above, you can see that the debt-to-GDP ratio has, in fact, been higher in the past (i.e. during WWII) but our current trend continues to raise our debt higher and higher, pushing us to a projected 86% of GDP over the next decade. Overall deficits for the next decade are estimated to total $9.4 trilion with growth of government spending outpacing revenues, as liabilities for Social Security, health care, and interest on the debt continue to grow, further compounding with the addition of more debt. The CBO report goes on to detail that, if current policies remain unchanged, as that is what their predictions are based on, then our debt will rise to as high as 155% of GDP in the next thirty years. Please read the full CBO report here; I honestly find it to be more than a little horrifying.
Please tune in Monday for day 3 regarding my thoughts on ways to combat the growing problem, in the hopes of reigning in government spending. Don’t forget to follow along via WordPress, or with your e-mail in the right-hand column, to ensure you don’t miss the remainder of the series or any future posts. My family and I would love to have you along for our journey; enjoy Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Give your sweetie and/or loved ones a smooch, tell them all about my blog, and encourage them to follow along! 🙂