Eugene Steuerle: This is not your grandfather's debt problem

Dr. Eugene (Gene) Steuerle is an Institute fellow and the Richard B. Fisher chair at the Urban Institute, as well as a member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He recently wrote a piece for The Washington Post, an excerpt of which is below:

Now that the covid-19 crisis has produced predictions that we soon will reach a debt-to-GDP ratio previously seen only once before — during World War II — it’s time to lay to rest the wacko assertion that there’s no cause of concern since we’ve been there before.

It’s not just that peacetime debt cannot be compared to wartime debt. It’s that the numbers themselves aren’t comparable, except in the narrowest sense, because they leave out massive debt-like obligations that recent Congresses have legislated for the future.

Read the entire piece here.

"My Views" are works published by members or staff of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members or staff of the Committee.