CBO: National debt to reach $46 trillion by 2033, 118% of GDP

The national deficit will hit $1.4 trillion for fiscal 2023 and "more than double to nearly $2.9 trillion by 2033," according an analysis of new CBO data.

Published: February 15, 2023 2:16pm

Updated: February 15, 2023 5:19pm

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday the national debt will reach 118% of GDP by 2033 – the highest level ever recorded – and continue to rise "if current laws generally remained unchanged."

The projections were part of the nonpartisan office's "Budget and Economic Outlook: 2023 to 2033."

According to the report, the national debt is projected to increase by $22 trillion over the next 10 years, reaching $46 trillion by 2033. 

An analysis of the report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found the nation's deficit will total $1.4 trillion for fiscal 2023 and "more than double to nearly $2.9 trillion by 2033."

The nonprofit budget watchdog group also concluded, based on the CBO report, that interest costs on the debt will "grow from $475 billion in 2022 to more than $1.4 trillion – a record 3.6 percent of GDP – by 2033."

The group also concluded that three major federal trust funds – the Highway Trust Fund, Medicare Hospital Insurance and Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance – "will be exhausted within the next decade."

Maya MacGuineas, president of the CRFB, described the CBO's latest figures as “daunting” and an "important dose of reality for politicians making promises they can’t afford to keep."

"Our debt is headed to a new record in only five years, while interest costs will triple over the next decade," she said. "Social Security and Medicare Hospital Insurance are only a decade from insolvency. Contrast these projections against politicians in both parties applauding a call to leave Social Security and Medicare untouched.”

MacGuineas said President Biden's "costly student debt cancellation boosted recorded deficits in 2022 and artificially lowered them in 2023."

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