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Presentation to the National Economists Club
July 28, 2022
Phillip L. Swagel
Director
An Overview of the
2022 Long-Term Budget Outlook
For further information about the organization, see www.national-economists.org.
1
Each year, the Congressional Budget Office publishes a report presenting its
budget projections (for federal debt, deficits, spending, and revenues) and
economic forecast for the next 30 years under the assumption that current laws
governing taxes and spending generally do not change.
CBO’s most recent projections, which underlie this presentation, were published
on July 27, 2022.
The economic forecast includes data and developments through early March.
The budget projections include the effects of legislation enacted through early
April.
These Projections Are as of July 27, 2022
2
Federal Debt Held by the Public
Growing deficits and
rising interest rates are
projected to drive federal
debt held by the public to
unprecedented levels
over the next 30 years.
By 2052, debt is
projected to reach
185 percent of gross
domestic product (GDP).
3
Total Deficits, Primary Deficits, and Net Interest
Net spending for interest
rises rapidly and
accounts for most of the
growth in total deficits in
the last two decades of
the projection period.
4
Total Outlays and Revenues
Both outlays and
revenues are projected
to be higher than their
historical averages, but
outlays increase faster
than revenues, resulting
in widening budget
deficits.
5
Outlays, by Component
Over the long term, net
spending for interest
and outlays for the major
health care programs
and Social Security
are projected to rise in
relation to GDP; other
spending, in total, is
projected to decline.
6
Revenues, by Source
Increases in individual
income taxes account for
most of the rise in total
revenues relative to
GDP.
7
The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those
projections for an additional 20 years.
Federal Debt If Interest Rates Differed From the Values Underlying
CBO’s Projections
The level of interest
rates makes a big
difference. In these
illustrative paths, the
differential between
the alternative
interest rates and the
baseline interest rate
is 5 basis points in
2022 and increases
by 5 basis points
each year.
8
The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those
projections for an additional 20 years.
Federal Debt If Total Factor Productivity Growth Differed
From the Values Underlying CBO’s Projections
Faster growth in total
factor productivity
would increase
overall economic
growth, and the ratio
of federal debt to
GDP would grow
more slowly. Slower
productivity growth
would have the
opposite effects.
9
The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those
projections for an additional 20 years.
Spending and Revenues Under Illustrative Paths That Differ
From CBO’s Extended Baseline Projections
Percentage of GDP
Scenario
Average Discretionary
Spending,
2033 to 2052
Average Total
Revenues,
2033 to 2052
Extended Baseline 6.0 18.7
First Path 7.0 18.7
Second Path 7.0 18.0
Third Path 7.0 17.3
10
The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those
projections for an additional 20 years.
Federal Debt If Spending and Revenues Differed From
CBO’s Extended Baseline Projections
If components of the
budget were more
consistent with their
past values than are the
baseline projections,
discretionary spending
would be greater and
revenues less than the
amounts in the baseline
projections, and federal
debt would grow faster.
11
Average Annual Growth of Real Potential GDP
Real potential GDP is
projected to grow more
slowly than in the past.
That slowdown occurs
mostly because of slow
growth of the potential
labor force.
12
Demographic Factors That Contribute to Population Growth
By 2043, deaths exceed
births; population growth
after that point is driven
entirely by net
immigration, in CBO’s
projections.
13
Short Term
▪ Inflation
▪ Economic growth
▪ Labor supply
▪ Supply chains
▪ International issues
Longer Term
▪ Fiscal trajectory
▪ Size of labor force
▪ Productivity and capital
accumulation
▪ Income distribution
▪ Climate change
Short- and Longer-Term Economic Issues

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An Overview of the 2022 Long-Term Budget Outlook

  • 1. Presentation to the National Economists Club July 28, 2022 Phillip L. Swagel Director An Overview of the 2022 Long-Term Budget Outlook For further information about the organization, see www.national-economists.org.
  • 2. 1 Each year, the Congressional Budget Office publishes a report presenting its budget projections (for federal debt, deficits, spending, and revenues) and economic forecast for the next 30 years under the assumption that current laws governing taxes and spending generally do not change. CBO’s most recent projections, which underlie this presentation, were published on July 27, 2022. The economic forecast includes data and developments through early March. The budget projections include the effects of legislation enacted through early April. These Projections Are as of July 27, 2022
  • 3. 2 Federal Debt Held by the Public Growing deficits and rising interest rates are projected to drive federal debt held by the public to unprecedented levels over the next 30 years. By 2052, debt is projected to reach 185 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • 4. 3 Total Deficits, Primary Deficits, and Net Interest Net spending for interest rises rapidly and accounts for most of the growth in total deficits in the last two decades of the projection period.
  • 5. 4 Total Outlays and Revenues Both outlays and revenues are projected to be higher than their historical averages, but outlays increase faster than revenues, resulting in widening budget deficits.
  • 6. 5 Outlays, by Component Over the long term, net spending for interest and outlays for the major health care programs and Social Security are projected to rise in relation to GDP; other spending, in total, is projected to decline.
  • 7. 6 Revenues, by Source Increases in individual income taxes account for most of the rise in total revenues relative to GDP.
  • 8. 7 The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those projections for an additional 20 years. Federal Debt If Interest Rates Differed From the Values Underlying CBO’s Projections The level of interest rates makes a big difference. In these illustrative paths, the differential between the alternative interest rates and the baseline interest rate is 5 basis points in 2022 and increases by 5 basis points each year.
  • 9. 8 The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those projections for an additional 20 years. Federal Debt If Total Factor Productivity Growth Differed From the Values Underlying CBO’s Projections Faster growth in total factor productivity would increase overall economic growth, and the ratio of federal debt to GDP would grow more slowly. Slower productivity growth would have the opposite effects.
  • 10. 9 The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those projections for an additional 20 years. Spending and Revenues Under Illustrative Paths That Differ From CBO’s Extended Baseline Projections Percentage of GDP Scenario Average Discretionary Spending, 2033 to 2052 Average Total Revenues, 2033 to 2052 Extended Baseline 6.0 18.7 First Path 7.0 18.7 Second Path 7.0 18.0 Third Path 7.0 17.3
  • 11. 10 The extended baseline projections, which generally reflect current law, follow CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections and then extend most of the concepts underlying those projections for an additional 20 years. Federal Debt If Spending and Revenues Differed From CBO’s Extended Baseline Projections If components of the budget were more consistent with their past values than are the baseline projections, discretionary spending would be greater and revenues less than the amounts in the baseline projections, and federal debt would grow faster.
  • 12. 11 Average Annual Growth of Real Potential GDP Real potential GDP is projected to grow more slowly than in the past. That slowdown occurs mostly because of slow growth of the potential labor force.
  • 13. 12 Demographic Factors That Contribute to Population Growth By 2043, deaths exceed births; population growth after that point is driven entirely by net immigration, in CBO’s projections.
  • 14. 13 Short Term ▪ Inflation ▪ Economic growth ▪ Labor supply ▪ Supply chains ▪ International issues Longer Term ▪ Fiscal trajectory ▪ Size of labor force ▪ Productivity and capital accumulation ▪ Income distribution ▪ Climate change Short- and Longer-Term Economic Issues