The best test of a budget proposal these days is whether it reins in the national debt, which is projected to equal a troubling 74% of gross domestic product this year. The last time the publicly held debt was that high as a percentage of the economy was in 1950, when the nation was still paying off the stupendous amount of money it had to borrow to fight and win World War II.
The election-year budget President Obama sent to Congress on Monday fails that test. Yes, Obama's budget has a lot of deficit reduction — some $4 trillion over the next 10 years. But the plan would still add $6.7 trillion in deficits over the next decade, with the debt-to-GDP ratio creeping up to about 77% through 2022. Beyond that, long-term figures buried deep inside the budget show the debt would shoot up again after 2022and just keep going, driven by an aging population and the escalating cost of Social Security and health care.
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