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BPC's Akabas: Budget Picture Must Get Worse Before It Can Get Better

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, on the Congressional Budget Office’s 10-year debt projections, suggesting debt will reach a record-setting 107% of GDP by 2023 and never look back:

“CBO’s latest 10-year outlook is sobering, to say the least. But these projections are not set in stone. How we respond to the continuing economic and public health threats now can either put us on a better path or hobble any chance at a robust recovery.

“The strange reality is that for the nation’s long-term budget picture to get better, it must get even worse in the short term. Congress must act on additional supports for American families and businesses. Doing so will give our economy the best shot to bounce back, and a good recovery now will help lessen budget shortfalls in coming years.

“Still, we were on an unsustainable fiscal path even before the coronavirus crisis. Deficits do matter. Once unemployment returns to more acceptable levels and the twin economic and health threats subside, we must take a fresh look at how to begin closing these unprecedented deficits.”

Shai Akabas is available for comment.