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.