Fiscal Facts: The CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook

Organization: Pew Charitable Trusts


On June 22, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its new long-term federal budget outlook (the last outlook was released in June 2010), with fiscal and economic projections through 2085. These projections show that the federal budget is on a path of sustained high levels of debt: under the extended baseline scenario, federal debt will remain at or above 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2012 through 2085. Under CBO’s alternative fiscal scenario, which includes some policy changes widely expected to be enacted, debt would rise even higher, exceeding 200 percent of GDP by 2037.

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