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Chartbook: What is the Long-Term Fiscal Outlook for the United States?

The federal government is on a dangerous fiscal path.

That is the central message of the Congressional Budget Office’s 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook. CBO projects in its latest report that debt held by the public is headed towards uncharted territory, exceeding the historical peak of 106 percent of gross domestic product in 2034. What’s causing this growth in debt?

The widening gap between federal revenues and spending – particularly on major health care programs, Social Security, and net interest payments on the debt – leads to the unsustainable trajectory of U.S. debt.  

These charts present key takeaways from CBO’s 2018 long-term outlook, along with some comparisons to previous year’s projections.

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