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Deficit: Why Should I Care? by Marie Bussing-Burks

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U.S. Record Debt

Economists view the net federal debt, relative to GDP, as the most telling indicator of economic stability—or economic woe—when it comes to the debt level. At the end of 2000, the amount of net federal debt stood at nearly 35 percent of the economy's production, but has now risen to over 62 percent. The ten-year rise starting in 2000, as the debt nearly doubled in size, pushed the debt-to-GDP numbers upward. The CBO predicts a continuing upward trend, culminating in the high 70 percent range by 2016. And according to the CBO, net federal debt is expected to rise to 87 percent of GDP by 2020. Worst-case scenario analysis by the CBO predicts the United States will owe 854 percent of GDP by 2080. While it is perhaps not likely the ...

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