Budget Deal Made Bad Situation Worse

For Immediate Release

The Congressional Budget Office released a new update Wednesday to its Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029, the first since the recent agreement to lift budget caps and increase spending. 

Under its newest baseline, CBO projects trillion-dollar deficits will return by 2020 and debt will rise from 78 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) today to 95 percent by 2029. Prior to the budget deal in May, CBO projected debt would reach 92 percent of GDP in 2029.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The recent budget deal was a budget buster, and now we have further proof. Both parties took an already unsustainable situation and made it much worse. Debt is now going to grow to almost the size of the economy within the decade. If Congress keeps extending tax cuts, debt will likely exceed the size of the economy within the decade. 

Between the budget deal, the tax cuts, and other recent unpaid-for legislation, policymakers have roughly doubled near-term deficits over just the past few years. Shame on them for not instead reducing projected debt to give us more room to fight the next recession and manage the aging of the population.

As these new numbers come out, let’s hope at least the same lawmakers who voted for these reckless policies spare us the act of pretending they’re shocked and surprised by the dangerous path we are now on.

Fortunately, it’s still not too late to make things right. As a first step, policymakers should pledge to pay for all extensions of existing policies and new legislation so we can put an end to this downward fiscal spiral. They should also redouble their efforts to control health care cost growth, restore Social Security solvency, and gradually bring revenue and spending more closely in line rather than further apart.


For more information, please contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org.