CBO Report Only Tells Part of the Story

Most economists acknowledge that the current federal debt is in excess of $18 trillion.
PALM CITY, Fla. - Aug. 27, 2015 - PRLog -- This week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its update on the federal budget and economic outlook.  An analysis by the Balanced Budget Task Force (BBATF), suggests the report had mixed messages.

While the report predicted a $426 billion deficit this year, that does not tell the whole story.  For instance, for the 2014 fiscal year the CBO reported the deficit was $520 billion, and yet the national debt that fiscal year increased $1.01 trillion.  The CBO calculations do not account for all federal expenditures.

The new CBO report claims that at the end of this fiscal year the federal government “debt held by the public” will be $13.175 trillion.  Most economists acknowledge that the current federal debt is in excess of $18 trillion.  That extra $5+ trillion is not shown in the CBO report.

The report does acknowledge that, based on current laws and spending patterns, by 2025 the “debt held by the public” will exceed $21 trillion.  That really means the total federal debt in 2025 will likely be over $26 trillion.

That number doesn’t even count the contingent liabilities related to long-term federal programs that a responsible insurance company would project as future liabilities for which assets must be put aside.  Many economists calculate that the true current federal liabilities (debt and unfunded future liabilities) exceed $100 trillion.

According to David Biddulph, leader of the BBA Task Force, that is why his group is working with state legislators across the country to enact a constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to operate under a balanced budget (BBA).  Most state governments already operate under the constraints of constitutional or statuary provisions requiring that they balance their state budgets.  “Without the constraints of a BBA,” he says, “we are just saddling our kids and grandkids with extreme debt that they will have to pay.”

In order for a convention of states to convene and propose a federal BBA, the legislatures of 34 states must adopt resolutions calling for such a meeting.  The BBATF group reports that 27 states have already done so.  The group hopes to gather the remaining 7 state resolutions during 2016 legislative sessions.  For more information about BBATF, go to www.BBA4USA.org.

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