How deep a hole has decades of deficit spending dug for our democracy?
According to preliminary information gleaned from a bipartisan debt reduction task force, U.S. government debt held by the public – which doesn’t included Social Security or health care obligations – will eclipse 60 percent of our country’s gross domestic product this year. By 2022, it will reach 100 percent and by 2035, it could reach as high as 200 percent.
Prior to the GOP’s decade of excess – which ushered in not only an economic disaster but as an even costlier era of “recovery” under President Barack Obama – the U.S. public debt averaged “only” 37 percent of the GDP. Now we’re on the verge of doubling that figure.
Along with this soaring debt, of course, come spiraling interest payments – which are eating up a growing portion of the federal budget.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), more than half of the $9 trillion in new deficit spending forecast over the next ten years will come in the form of interest. And by 2015, interest payments will be roughly $533 billion a year – or roughly a third of federal income tax revenue. By 2020, the annual interest obligation could be as high as $1 trillion.
And as mentioned, none of this takes into account the brewing Social Security/ Medicaid/ Medicare nightmares …