Your share of the national debt

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has sobering news about the federal budget:

President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation’s economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.

In its 2011 budget, which the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Feb. 1, the administration projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion. After looking it over, CBO said in its final analysis, released Thursday, that the president’s budget would generate a combined $9.75 trillion in deficits over the next decade.

“An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference,” said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying.”

The federal public debt, which was $6.3 trillion ($56,000 per household) when Mr. Obama entered office amid an economic crisis, totals $8.2 trillion ($72,000 per household) today, and it’s headed toward $20.3 trillion (more than $170,000 per household) in 2020, according to CBO’s deficit estimates.

via CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP – Washington Times.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WebMonk

    Could the WashTimes possibly put out a more ignorant story? They ought to be embarrassed by this.

    The Federal Debt is already projected to be over 90%, and that’s according to the CBO – http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10871/AppendixD.shtml#1100392

    Even if they just use the “Federal Debt Held By The Public” set of numbers instead of the total debt, their story is still wildly off.

    Surely someone must have checked the story before they put it up. Right? I call BS on this story.

  • WebMonk

    Could the WashTimes possibly put out a more ignorant story? They ought to be embarrassed by this.

    The Federal Debt is already projected to be over 90%, and that’s according to the CBO – http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10871/AppendixD.shtml#1100392

    Even if they just use the “Federal Debt Held By The Public” set of numbers instead of the total debt, their story is still wildly off.

    Surely someone must have checked the story before they put it up. Right? I call BS on this story.

  • Manxman

    A more meaningful stat would be debt per TAX PAYING household since a significant number of these “households” either pay no taxes or actually receive money from the Feds.

  • Manxman

    A more meaningful stat would be debt per TAX PAYING household since a significant number of these “households” either pay no taxes or actually receive money from the Feds.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Specify, Webmonk. Are you saying it’s already this bad? That it is worse? Or that it’s not so bad?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Specify, Webmonk. Are you saying it’s already this bad? That it is worse? Or that it’s not so bad?

  • DonS

    Webmonk, I’m not following. Obama assumed office early in the 2009 federal budget year. At the end of fiscal year 2009, according to the link you provided from the CBO, the public debt (this excludes all of the Social Security “lockbox” borrowing) was $7.544 trillion . So, when Obama took office, it would have been about $6.3 trillion, given that the gov’t ran about a $1.5 trillion debt in 2009. This is what the Wash. Times reported. The CBO projections are that federal debt by 2020 will be some $15 trillion. Since the GDP is currently about $13 trillion, give or take, it is reasonable to assume that $15 trillion will be about 90% of GDP in 2020. So, what’s the issue?

    Anyway, the real problem is not the $15 trillion, although it is certainly a problem that the number is relentlessly going up, with no end in sight. The REAL problem are the $100+ trillion unfunded future entitlements that we have committed ourselves to.

  • DonS

    Webmonk, I’m not following. Obama assumed office early in the 2009 federal budget year. At the end of fiscal year 2009, according to the link you provided from the CBO, the public debt (this excludes all of the Social Security “lockbox” borrowing) was $7.544 trillion . So, when Obama took office, it would have been about $6.3 trillion, given that the gov’t ran about a $1.5 trillion debt in 2009. This is what the Wash. Times reported. The CBO projections are that federal debt by 2020 will be some $15 trillion. Since the GDP is currently about $13 trillion, give or take, it is reasonable to assume that $15 trillion will be about 90% of GDP in 2020. So, what’s the issue?

    Anyway, the real problem is not the $15 trillion, although it is certainly a problem that the number is relentlessly going up, with no end in sight. The REAL problem are the $100+ trillion unfunded future entitlements that we have committed ourselves to.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk, as much as I love to debunk a Washington Times article, I don’t think they’re wrong on this one.

    Here’s the relevant table in the CBO report on Obama’s budget. You can also look at the full report[1].

    You will note that the 90% number does, in fact, use the “Debt Held by the Public” number. It would have been 67.5% of the GDP in 2020 using the previous baseline estimate.

    Don, you should take a look at that document, as well, as your numbers were off.

    [1]cbo.gov/ftpdocs/112xx/doc11280/frontmatter.shtml

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk, as much as I love to debunk a Washington Times article, I don’t think they’re wrong on this one.

    Here’s the relevant table in the CBO report on Obama’s budget. You can also look at the full report[1].

    You will note that the 90% number does, in fact, use the “Debt Held by the Public” number. It would have been 67.5% of the GDP in 2020 using the previous baseline estimate.

    Don, you should take a look at that document, as well, as your numbers were off.

    [1]cbo.gov/ftpdocs/112xx/doc11280/frontmatter.shtml

  • Peter Leavitt

    Toynbee’s bottom-line argument was that civilizations over time routinely fail due to not effectively responding to serious challenges. His volumes on the history of civilizations provide ample evidence for this argument. He was uncertain about the inevitability of decline, though the weight of his evidence seems overwhelming. Basically civilizations tent to start off in a disciplined way, though seem to over time become overly wealthy, satisfied, and weak, giving way to more vital and disciplined groups.

    The West just now is not effectively responding to the challenges of major fiscal deficits brought on primarily from “entitlements” along with demographic decline and a serious decline in morals and manners brought on mainly by a decline of the Christian religion. Personally, I am skeptical whether the West will effectively meet these challenges. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Toynbee’s bottom-line argument was that civilizations over time routinely fail due to not effectively responding to serious challenges. His volumes on the history of civilizations provide ample evidence for this argument. He was uncertain about the inevitability of decline, though the weight of his evidence seems overwhelming. Basically civilizations tent to start off in a disciplined way, though seem to over time become overly wealthy, satisfied, and weak, giving way to more vital and disciplined groups.

    The West just now is not effectively responding to the challenges of major fiscal deficits brought on primarily from “entitlements” along with demographic decline and a serious decline in morals and manners brought on mainly by a decline of the Christian religion. Personally, I am skeptical whether the West will effectively meet these challenges. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.


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