With Deficits Falling, Our Debt Problems are Behind Us
Since the Great Recession, the deficit has fallen by about two-thirds, from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to $485 billion in 2014, a fact that some have used to argue the debt is no longer a threat. Those who focus on the deficit’s decline of two-thirds generally fail to mention this reduction followed an almost 800 percent increase in the deficit during the prior two years, nor that deficits are again projected to rise. Indeed, according to CBO, trillion-dollar deficits will return by 2025, and possibly sooner. Perhaps more importantly, debt as a share of the economy – at 74 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – is at the highest level in U.S. history other than around World War II; and it is projected to continue to grow, exceeding the size of the economy before 2040 and as early as 2030.