CBO Report Projects ‘Unprecedented’ Decade of Annual $1 Trillion Deficits

Tobias Hoonhout

The Congressional Budget Office predicted that the federal deficit will exceed $1 trillion annually for at least the next decade in its annual report released Tuesday, shedding renewed doubts on President Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to eliminate the U.S. deficit “over a period of eight years.”

The report projects a 2020 deficit of $1.02 trillion, the highest number since 2012 and an increase from the 2019 deficit of $984 billion. The CBO said the deficit could hit $1.7 trillion in 2030.

“As a result of those deficits, federal debt would rise each year, reaching a percentage of the nation’s output that is unprecedented in U.S. history,” the report states.

While President Obama incurred four consecutive years of $1 trillion-plus budget deficits through 2012, economist point to the economic recession of 2007-2009 as justification, and signal fears that the tax cuts which helped spark Trump’s strong economy could hurt in the long run.

“The U.S. economy is doing well, with low unemployment and rising wages that have drawn people off the sidelines and back into the labor force,” CBO director Phillip Swagel said in a statement. “But our projections also suggest that over the long-term, changes in fiscal policy must be made to address the budget situation.”

Last week, the president made headlines for suggesting he might make good on the longstanding GOP promise of entitlement reform if he is elected to a second term, despite promising in 2016 not to cut the programs.

Trump also drew criticism from Republican senators for signing a hastily-agreed-to $1.43 trillion budget for 2020, an increase of nearly $50 billion from the 2019 budget.

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