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Diane Publishing Books
Macroeconomic Effects of Alternative Budgetary Paths
Benjamin Page (au)
Federal debt held by the public now exceeds 70% of the nationńˇ╗s annual output (GDP) and stands at a higher percentage than in any year since 1950. If current laws generally remain unchanged, federal debt will be 77% of GDP in 2023. Such a large amount of federal debt raises the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which the government would lose the ability to borrow money at affordable interest rates). Moreover, the aging of the population and rising health care costs will tend to push debt even higher in the following decades. In addition, those projections of debt under current law incorporate scheduled changes in policies that will serve to restrain the growth of debt. For ex., under current law, some significant tax provisions will expire at the end of this year or in later years, increasing revenues; automatic spending cuts included in the Budget Control Act of 2011 and modified in the Am. Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 will go into effect on March 1, 2013; and Medicareńˇ╗s payment rates for physiciansńˇ╗ services will fall in Jan. 2014. If future legislation prevented those changes from taking effect and did not make other policy changes with offsetting budgetary effects, federal debt would be considerably higher than the amount projected under current law. This report describes the effects of three alternative budgetary paths: one with deficits that are greater than those projected under current law and two with deficits that are smaller. Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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