Updated April 3, 2012
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently updated its report on the federal government’s long-term fiscal outlook. The report underscores the serious problems our country faces if it continues on its current fiscal path.
Here are some of the projected milestones for the years ahead, based on one of the scenarios in the GAO's report (the "alternative simulation"* ):
- 2023 -- Net interest costs would exceed Medicare
- 2025 -- Federal debt held by the public would exceed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
- 2025 -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and net interest would consume all government revenues.
- 2029 -- Net interest costs would exceed Social Security
- 2037 -- Net interest would exceed both Medicare and Medicaid
- 2038 -- Debt held by the public would exceed 200 percent of GDP
- 2039 -- The federal deficit would exceed all government revenues.
- 2046 -- The deficit would reach 22.6 percent of GDP, more than the entire federal budget in 2008 (22.4 percent of GDP).
- 2047 -- Federal debt held by the public would equal 300 percent of GDP