Projections Show Need to Stress Fiscal Reform

Author: Steve Winn
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New projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provide further evidence that candidates for federal office should address the nation’s worsening budget problems.

“Voters are hearing a lot of expensive new proposals from candidates but not so much about how to keep the nation’s debt from growing on an unsustainable path,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition. He said the CBO report, which projects a rising debt burden over the next 10 years and beyond, “shows why voters should expect candidates to offer credible policies to put us on a better course.”

The new report updates the budget and economic projections that CBO made earlier this year for the coming decade. Its baseline budget projections are based on current law.

The budget office projects that Fiscal 2016 will close in September with the first increase in the deficit as a share of the economy since 2009, when the country was struggling with the fiscal consequences of the Great Recession.

At $590 billion, the annual deficit will be $152 billion larger than in 2015 and $56 billion higher than the agency estimated in March. However, the 10-year cumulative deficit estimate of $8.6 trillion is $700 billion lower than the March projection — primarily due to lower projected interest rates.

The report shows growing pressure on the federal budget as the result of an aging population and rising health care costs.

External links:
Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook (CBO)

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