America’s national debt woes usually get reported like this: “Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that U.S. debt will reach 187 percent of gross domestic product by 2035.”
That is from Bloomberg and is quite typical. Typical and terribly misleading. The CBO estimate assumes all that debt has no big economic impacts that would hurt economic growth and revenue — thus making the debt problem even worse. Crazy. But CBO also does an alternate forecast that does make such assumptions: “The increase in interest rates and the reduction in output are much larger under the alternative fiscal scenario, so the increase in the projected debt-to-GDP ratio from incorporating the economic changes is much greater—22 to 64 percentage points—leading to a total of roughly 210 percent to 250 percent.”
Actually 252 percent, a scenario likely to cause a financial crisis long before 2035.