The Congressional Budget Office projects that budget deficits will remain below 3% of GDP through 2019, but continued growth in spending — particularly for programs like Social Security and Medicare — would outstrip growth in revenues, resulting in larger deficits and increasing debt.
By 2027, CBO said Tuesday, the deficit would reach 5% of GDP — $1.4 trillion. Revenues, if current laws generally remained unchanged, would rise from 17.8% of GDP in 2017 to 18.4% by 2027. They have averaged 17.4% of GDP over the past 50 years.
CBO noted that its projections were completed before President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, and do not incorporate any effects of executive orders or other actions taken by his administration.
CBO’s baseline estimate of the 2017 deficit is $559 billion, or 2.9% of GDP — less than the $587 billion deficit posted in 2016.
If there are no further legislative changes, both revenues and outlays are projected to rise by about 4% in 2017. “Higher receipts from individual income taxes would be responsible for much of the projected revenue increase, and net interest payments would be the fastest-growing component of the increase in spending,” CBO said.
Mandatory spending rose by 4%, increasing to 13% of GDP, compared with 12.8% in 2015, CBO said. The largest increases in net outlays, compared with spending in 2015, are attributable to growth in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
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