National Debt Projected To Hit $ 19.6 Trillion In Five Years

Just days after advising us that the National Debt had passed the $ 13 trillion milestone, the Treasury Department is reporting that we can expect it to increase by at least another $ 7 trillion between now and 2015:

The U.S. debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015, according to a Treasury Department report to Congress.

The report that was sent to lawmakers Friday night with no fanfare said the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product would rise to 102 percent by 2015 from 93 percent this year.

“The president’s economic experts say a 1 percent increase in GDP can create almost 1 million jobs, and that 1 percent is what experts think we are losing because of the debt’s massive drag on our economy,” said Republican Representative Dave Camp, who publicized the report.

He was referring to recent testimony by University of Maryland Professor Carmen Reinhart to the bipartisan fiscal commission, which was created by President Barack Obama to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, which said debt topping 90 percent of GDP could slow economic growth.

And just to make you feel extra better, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told CNN today that, at the moment, there is no plan to cut the budget deficit or the debt:

Bernanke talked about the need for U.S. leaders to take control of the nation’s deficits over the medium term, some three to six years from now, in a way “that will allow us to bring our fiscal house in order over a long period of time.”

But when asked if the nation has such a plan, or if he’s seen one, Bernanke said: “No. Not yet. I don’t.”

He wouldn’t give recommendations as to whether Congress should raise taxes to cut deficits.

“That’s a political question, I’m not going to try to make Congress’ decision for them, they wouldn’t pay attention to me anyway,” Bernanke said.

Bernanke said pretty much the same thing today in response to a question from newly-elected Congressman Charles Djou:

The test of how serious both Republicans and Democrats are about reducing the deficit and slowing the growth of the National Debt will come in December with the report of the bipartisan debt commission is released. Undoubtedly, the report will include things that Republicans oppose, like tax increases and cuts in defense spending, and things that Democrats oppose, like cuts in social and entitlement spending. If it gets rejected out of hand, then you can rest assured that there will be no serious attempt to deal with either problem for the remainder of Barack Obama’s first time. After that, it may be too late.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    If you look at a debt to GDP ratio, like this one here:

    http://gshudson.com/Booth%20Committee/Charts/National-Debt-GDP.gif

    you see that we, a democracy, with a congress that has been bad at least since Samuel Clemens called them America’s criminal class, have managed to reduce debts before. We even managed once to reduce a debt this large before.

    It can be done. Probably the most productive thing would be to revisit how the Republican Congress and Clinton Administration managed to do it. It was not the friendliest partnership, but in this sense it was the most productive.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Doug, you jest! Baracks first time is going to be his only time. Large cuts in defense will result in outcomes which will make all the other issues irrelevant. Doug, you are an attorney. Why is it you are not sueing Obama for not doing his job?

  3. … have managed to reduce debts before…

    But there was a reason to incur such debts before, and a general sense of proprietary that required the debt to be repaid. Today, not so much. When we are losing ground as quickly as we are just to pay the normal bills, we’re doomed.

  4. … have managed to reduce debts before…

    But there was a reason to incur such debts before, and a general sense of propriety that required the debt to be repaid. Today, not so much. When we are losing ground as quickly as we are just to pay the normal bills, we’re doomed.

  5. superdestroyer says:

    It is humours to read a post worrying about the national debt on a website that promotes open borders and unlimited immigraiton. Image what the debt will be with increasing entitlement spending along with open borders and unlimited immigration.

    Once the debt gets to big the only question will be where are the middle class suppose to migrate to get away from the insanity that the U.S. of A has become.

  6. just me says:

    I am curious how Obama blames Bush-given that congress has been in democratic hands since the 2006 election cycle.

    I do actually think divided government tends to be kinder to the budget deficit than having one party in control of everything.

    I also think too many in government from both parties think there is some kind of magic money tree that grows in the capital.

  7. john personna says:

    There were certainly Deficit Hawks though the Great Depression as well. Even if this only proves to be the Great Recession it might be reason to incur some debts.

    Other debts, like wars run not out of current accounts but borrowed-for, are running in parallel …

  8. john personna says:

    “I also think too many in government from both parties think there is some kind of magic money tree that grows in the capital.”

    Well, sure. We still basically have everyone saying “keep my favorite spending, but cut yours.”