Even With Lower Deficit, Key Fiscal Challenges Remain

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The administration has confirmed that the government borrowed substantially less than in 2013.  But this borrowing still pushed the federal debt to well over $17.8 trillion, and the government remains on track to boost that total by $7.2 trillion or more in the coming decade.

The government’s final budget figures for Fiscal 2014, which ended Sept. 30, show the deficit at $483 billion, down from $680 billion the previous year.

Top administration officials attributed the difference to higher government receipts and stable outlays in Fiscal 2014. Receipts rose to 17.5 percent of GDP, up from 16.7 percent in 2013. Spending fell to 20.3 percent of GDP in Fiscal 2014, down from 20.8 percent the prior year.

But the federal deficit is projected to begin rising again soon as the population ages, entitlement spending continues to increase, and interest costs on the debt climb. In addition, special-interest subsidies and spending programs buried in the tax code continue to drain large amounts of federal revenue.

External links:
Joint Statement by Treasury and OMB

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