Nation's Fiscal Health: A Long-Term Plan is Needed for Fiscal Sustainability, Statement of Gene L. Dodaro Comptroller General of the United States, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 528KB]

From the GAO (Government Accountability Office) Highlights: "By the end of fiscal year 2019, debt held by the public had climbed to 79 percent of GDP [gross domestic product]. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects debt to reach 107 percent of GDP by 2023, its highest point in history. In addition, CBO [Congressional Budget Office] projects that annual deficits will exceed $1 trillion in each of the next 10 years. As currently structured, the federal debt limit is not a control on debt, but a legal limit on the total amount of federal debt that can be outstanding at one time. It restricts the Department of the Treasury's (Treasury) authority to borrow to finance fiscal decisions that have already been made. Uncertainty around the debt limit increases borrowing costs and decreases demand for Treasury securities, among other things. This statement focuses on (1) the federal government's unsustainable long-term fiscal path, (2) actions needed to address the federal government's fiscal challenges, and (3) executive agencies' opportunities to contribute to fiscal health. This statement is based upon GAO's September 2020 report on fiscal rules and targets, and GAO's March 2020 annual report on the nation's fiscal health. GAO updated certain information with new data from CBO and others."

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