Keep this harrowing projection in mind the next time Democrats accuse conservatives of "ending Medicare," or whatever. We are all aboard a taxpayer-funded high speed train to self-destruction, and our engineer-in-chief is shouting full speed ahead. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is now warning that unless major reforms are implemented very soon, overwhelming debt could crush the entire US economy:
...Debt would reach 250 percent of GDP by 2035. CBO’s model cannot reliably estimate GNP after debt reaches that amount, in the agency’s judgment: The assumptions about private saving and capital inflows incorporated in CBO’s model are based on historical experience, and if interest rates and the debt-to-GDP ratio rose to levels well outside of that experience, those assumptions might no longer be valid. In 2035, GNP would be 21 percent below the benchmark under the assumptions leading to the most negative effect on GNP; beyond 2035, the negative effect on GNP would grow under those assumptions as debt continued to increase relative to the size of the economy.
In other words, if debt and stagnation persist under a negative outlook scenario, the CBO literally cannot compute how the American economy could continue to exist beyond the year 2035. That's 23 years from today. Note the dark dotted line that abruptly ends (via Jim Pethokoukis):
USA Today has more on the coming calamity:
The federal debt is expected to be 70% of the gross domestic product by the end of this year, and could be double the GDP by 2037 unless major changes are made, the Congressional Budget Office reports.
The gross national debt has already exceeded 100% of GDP. President Obama's latest proposed budget would accelerate spending to unprecedented levels and would add $11 Trillion to the sea of red ink. His own administration admits they have no plan to deal with the long term, entitlements-driven debt crisis facing the nation. But they are dead set against the House-passed Republican budget, which slows the rate of increased spending, reforms Medicare, and balances the budget by 2030. Paul Ryan has been warning about this fiscal cliff for years. Liberals either laughed at him, or called him a dangerous austerity-obsessed zealot -- or both. They offer demagoguery and scorn, but no ideas. The Romney campaign is rightfully alarmed, blasting out this statement to reporters:
“Today’s CBO report confirms that President Obama has placed us on a path to fiscal ruin. This is a President who promised to cut the deficit in half, but proceeded to run four consecutive trillion-dollar deficits and accumulate nearly as much publicly held debt as all prior presidents combined. Instead of displaying leadership, the President has proposed a new budget that Congress rejected unanimously. Instead of tackling entitlement reform, he has made clear that he has no plan for addressing the challenge. It is immoral to place such a burden on future generations, and Mitt Romney will not allow it to continue.”
In fairness, we were in trouble before Obama took office. But he has made the situation much, much worse. You already saw this in Dan's post earlier, but in the time it took you to read through this post, the national debt increased by roughly $3 million. Team Obama's response? But...war-on-women-student-loans-equal-pay-Bain-Capital!
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography