Friday, May 05, 2017

Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future

That's the title of a GAO report issued this week. A couple of quotes from it: 
 “While health care spending is a key programmatic and policy driver of the long-term outlook on the spending side of the budget, eventually, spending on net interest becomes the largest category of spending in both the 2016 Financial Report’s long-term fiscal projections and GAO’s simulations.”
The GAO cited a simulation that showed net interest payments on U.S. debt increasing “from $248 billion in fiscal year 2016 to $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2045 in 2016 dollars.”
“Debt held by the public rose as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), from 74 percent at the end of fiscal year 2015 to 77 percent at the end of fiscal year 2016. This compares to an average of 44 percent of GDP since 1946.”
The report also noted that federal resources that could be deployed into key priorities like rebuilding the nation’s roads and bridges are being diverted to interest on debt. Another concern expressed by the GAO is the upward rise in interest rates. 

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