Thanks to a blitzkrieg of new “revenue enhancements” (a.k.a. tax hikes) – and a modest reduction in government excess – the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting the current budget deficit for 2013 to shrink to $642 billion. That’s on top of the $5.1 trillion in deficit spending U.S. President Barack Obama racked up during his first four years in office.
“Because revenues, under current law, are projected to rise more rapidly than spending in the next two years, deficits in CBO’s baseline projections continue to shrink, falling to 2.1 percent of GDP by 2015,” the CBO notes. “However, budget shortfalls are projected to increase later in the coming decade, reaching 3.5 percent of GDP in 2023, because of the pressures of an aging population, rising health care costs, an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, and growing interest payments on federal debt.”
Wait … what was that last item? Yeah … growing interest payments on federal debt.
According to the Economic Policy Journal, “in fiscal year 2014, the federal government expects to spend around $3.8 trillion, with 6 percent of that being interest payments.”
“But what if interest rates continue to climb?” the site asks. “The current expected interest payments could skyrocket well beyond the $228 billion forecast.”
Could? Make that will skyrocket.
Since the beginning of May, the interest rate on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note jumped from 1.66 percent to 2.2 percent – the first in a series of projected increases which will raise interest payments on the national debt by hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
Chickens, coming home to roost if you will …
Also worth noting? That increase was ten basis points higher than the CBO projected, and fifteen points above the American Bankers’ Association estimate. Which means the situation is worsening
What can be done to stop this progression? Nothing. Within a decade, America will be staring down between $800 billion and $1 trillion in annual interest payments on its debt – which is expected to mushroom to more than $25 trillion by 2022.
Can our economy handle that? We’re about to find out …