John Ransom

Buy now, pay later.

That will be the epitaph on the tombstone of the Obama administration.

The Congressional Budget Office, a research outfit that justifies government spending, is warning that while deficit may appear tame now-- comparatively speaking-- the budget path we are on is unsustainable.

“The extended baseline projections show a substantial imbalance in the federal budget over the long term,” says the new CBO report, “with revenues falling well short of spending. As a result, budget deficits are projected to rise steadily and, by 2039, to push federal debt held by the public up to a percentage of GDP seen only once before in U.S. history (just after World War II). The harm that such growing debt would cause to the economy is not factored into CBO’s detailed long-term projections but is considered in further analysis presented in this report.”

See, the CBO isn’t charged with considering how bad this will get, but is still willing to take a stab at how future and current spending will negatively impact the economy.

Where were these guys during sequester, or the Cruz shutdown?

All we heard back then was how the lack of government spending was killing the economy. That’s kind of like blaming a hospital doctor for the death of a patient when Kevorkian has just left the room.

At least the CBO is willing to admit it.

They are equally blunt about the reasons why, although perhaps not as pessimistic as the case may warrant.

The CBO cites an aging population and rising government subsidies for healthcare as reasons why the deficit will balloon to unprecedented levels. Remember when saving money was the reason for Obamacare? Yeah I don’t really either, but I remember when they said it was.

“It will cut the deficit!” they said. Where’s your Ezra Klein now Obama?

“Moreover, CBO expects interest rates to rebound in coming years from their current unusually low levels, raising the government’s interest payments,” the government budget service continues. “That additional spending would contribute to larger budget deficits—equaling close to 4 percent of GDP—toward the end of the 10-year period spanned by the baseline, CBO anticipates. Altogether, deficits during that 2015–2024 period would total about $7.6 trillion.”

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance, host of Ransom Notes Radio and you can catch more of the best money advice and monetary commentary by him daily 10am PT, 1pm ET at or on Comcast Cable