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January 02, 2013

Post cliff: still a mountain of deficits and debt

Americans can get a better picture of what will happen to the federal government budget in coming years now that everyone knows what will happen to the temporary Bush tax cuts.

The key fact is that, even with tax increases on the wealthy, deficits will continue and debt will continue to climb.

Using an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of the fiscal cliff deal this week, coupled with a March budget forecast by the nonpartisan agency, it’s clear that annual deficits will drop from their current record levels. They will never dip below half a trillion, and will start rising again.

The projections for annual deficits:

Fiscal 2013 - $941 billion

2014 - $738 billion

2015 - $568 billion

2016 - $599 billion

2017 – $572 billion

2018 - $599 billion

2019 – $639 billion

2020 - $681 billion

2021 - $719 billion

2022 - $817 billion

Overall, federal government spending will total $44.617 trillion over the coming decade. Tax revenues will total $37.760 trillion. And the cumulative deficits will total $6.858 trillion, an amount presumably to be financed with borrowing and added the national debt.

The debt held by the public was forecast to reach $15.115 trillion in 2022 when the CBO did its March analysis, though that forecast was based on the assumption that all of the Bush tax cuts would expire. With most extended, that debt now will top $19 trillion.


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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