This year, CBO released the topline numbers a week early as a kind of sneak preview. What's interesting about these numbers is twofold: first, they show that an era of lower and lower deficits seem to have come to an end... if we turn to CBO's latest Long Term Budget Projections, we find deficits growing to 4.9% of GDP in 2030, 5.9% of GDP in 2040, 6.2% of GDP in 2050, and so on. It goes without saying that the national debt (the accumulation of all these annual deficits) also explodes to comically nightmarish levels.

... [And the problem is not too-low taxes; the projections] show taxes growing well above the historical average as we proceed through this century. Taxes grow to 18.6 percent of GDP in 2030, 19.4% of GDP in 2040, 20.3 percent of GDP in 2050, and onward from there. So taxes are not only not under-performing. They will, in fact, be greatly over-performing based on their history... If taxes are clearly not to blame, then by definition the problem is on the spending side. CBO, again, bears out that analysis with their numbers.


All of the growth in that spending comes from two sources: entitlement program autopilot growth for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare and others; and the attendant interest spending on the national debt that comes from the entitlement-driven deficit scenario.


If you're concerned about deficits, the only thing you should be focused on is restraining the growth curve of entitlement spending. To the extent your focus is elsewhere (tax hikes, waste/fraud/abuse in discretionary spending, etc.) you're being less than serious about your concern.

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