Within the next ten years, the federal government budget deficit relative to national income will grow significantly beyond historical experience. We project that debt-to-GDP will be 134% in 2032 and 263% in 2052, compared to CBO’s 115% and 189%, respectively. Real interest rates rise in the long run in a ratcheting cycle of higher interest payments and growing deficits and debt. Our projection of national health expenditures relative to GDP in 2072 is 29.6%, compared to 28.4% by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services used by the Medicare Trustees. These higher rates of healthcare inflation arise from labor shortage effects in an aging economy because healthcare is produced in a low productivity, labor-dependent sector. This rise in healthcare expenditures further deteriorates the federal budget and lowers consumer welfare. Related: The 2023 Long-Term Budget Outlook and US Fiscal Alarm Bells Are Drowning Out a Deeper Problem and Interest Costs Will Grow the Fastest Over the Next 30 Years
- Date Posted:
- August 9, 2023
We consider three scenarios for the one-year period spanning 2023:H2 and 2024:H1. The first scenario ("Baseline") assumes that Europe maintains gas imports from Russia and all other sources at the same average level as in 2022:H2 and that gas consumption in each month is the same as its 2015–2021 average level.4 The second scenario ("Harsh Winter") is the same as the baseline, except that it assumes that next winter will be historically cold and, as a result, gas consumption in each month reaches its maximum 2015–2021 level. The third scenario ("Adverse Scenario") is the same as the baseline, except that it assumes that Europe's imports from non-Russian sources fall back to their 2015–2021 average in each month, while natural gas imports from Russia are the same as in the baseline.