National Debt Will Grow to Between 181 Percent and 340 Percent of GDP in Next 30 Years, Says Budget Expert

The national debt stands at $27 trillion, a staggering figure that dwarfs the entire output of the US economy. And it's only going to get worse, says budget expert Brian Riedl, no matter who wins the upcoming presidential election.

Both President Trump and former Vice President Biden have spent like sailors on leave, Riedl tells Reason's Nick Gillespie. And the Congressional Budget Office projects $119 trillion in deficits over the next 30 years, with the national debt reaching a terrifying 181 percent to 340 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

But why is the national debt such a problem? Well, when debt grows faster than the economy permanently, it creates a host of issues. These include higher interest rates, reduced investment, and even the possibility that Washington may not be able to borrow enough. And that's not even taking into account the impact of massive debt on economic growth over the long term.

So, what's driving this debt tsunami? The main factors include a ballooning deficit in social security and Medicare, along with the occasional costly emergency such as the COVID pandemic. But don't blame one political party or the other, Riedl says. Both Democrats and Republicans have spent freely when in power. And rhetoric from both parties tends to ignore the crisis until they get elected, at which point they start talking about fixing the problem.

It's a dire situation with no easy answers. But reducing the debt is crucial, Riedl says, even if it's hard to do. For one thing, it's going to require a lot of pain. And it will mean making tough choices, such as raising taxes and slowing the growth of Social Security and Medicare. But it has to be done, and the younger generation should be leading the charge, Riedl says. They're the ones who will have to live with the consequences of this endless borrowing.

Lastly, while the situation seems bleak, there is a possibility of hope on the horizon. With massive spending increases in the last few years, perhaps politicians will eventually realize the danger of their actions and make an effort to curb their spending desires. Only time will tell if this massive debt can be controlled before it's too late.

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