US national debt to surge to record levels without reform, raising prospect of debt crisis

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The U.S. national debt is on pace to set a new record in 2027 when compared to the size of the economy as federal budget deficits are projected to widen in the years ahead.

As Americans' political focus turns towards this fall's elections, the winner of the presidential race will be confronted with a national debt that's on pace to reach a record-setting level in the next four years, as well as looming deadlines that may force their hand on fiscal policy. A recent update to the federal government's long-term budget outlook by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that budget deficits are projected to widen from about $1.

Next year will also mark the expiration of the budget caps that were included in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the bipartisan law that also suspended the debt limit and capped discretionary spending through fiscal year 2025, which concludes next September. Congress will have to debate whether to retain those spending caps, let them lapse or impose more stringent requirements when they're debating annual appropriations bills next year.

Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the nonpartisan Center for a Responsible Federal Budget , told FOX Business that the slew of fiscal issues on tap next year should compel lawmakers to consider reforms. "We've got the debt limit coming back, the spending caps expiring, a bunch of tax cuts expiring.

Despite those fast-approaching dates, America's political leaders appear to have set aside a debate over reforming those programs in the midst of a contentious election. At the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump said that they would leave Social Security untouched in a second term.

Democrats and Republicans generally have vastly divergent views over the causes and preferred remedies to the federal government's fiscal woes – which will make a future policy debate over reform proposals an animated one. "The fundamental problem that this country has is a spending problem," said David McGarry, policy analyst with the conservative Taxpayers Protection Alliance, in an interview with FOX Business.

 

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