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November 13th, 2009 4:46 pm
CBO Chief: U.S. is Broke
Posted by Print

Well, not yet.  But this week Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf issued a sobering report on the state of the nation’s finances.

The largest problem by far?  Entitlements … those “popular” little nuggets of government largesse that everyone enjoys receiving but no one (maybe some liberals) enjoys paying for out of their paycheck.  For example, Medicare and Medicaid are projected to grow by 80% over the next 25 years, while Social Security will only grow 20%.

As Elmendorf notes, the nation simply can’t continue to run up the national debt, currently at almost $12 trillion.  He alludes to possible crises down the road: a drastic drop in the dollar, an increase in interest rates and massive tax hikes.

His conclusion:

[F]iscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering. The country faces a fundamental disconnect between the services the people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans, and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services. That fundamental disconnect will have to be addressed in some way if the budget is to be placed on a sustainable course.

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