• This one is interesting (pun intended)

    Recent federal budget projections I’ve posted have excluded debt interest payments. It’s not my fault. CBO didn’t include interest payments in the graphs that accompany their most recent budget outlook (why?).

    Interest payments are large. In the relatively near term, think of them as another Medicaid. By the mid-century, think of them as another Medicaid+Medicare. By late-century, think of them as another entire U.S. federal budget. Here’s a helpful chart from Wikipedia. The data are a few years old. I’d love a more recent one, but I haven’t found the time series for it because, as I said, CBO didn’t produce it (why? Oh, I asked that already.)

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    • I find it interesting that the turning point on this graph coincides with the predictions of the futurists for the time line when that they will fully be able to decode brain engrams and download them into computers. Perhaps that is the only solution, download everyone into computers and save on the health care costs. Sort of a positivistic rational Soylent Green.

    • The two things that are discussed much less than one would expect given their impact on our budget, are Medicare and debt interest. This puzzles me. I guess it is just easier to talk about gay marriage.


    • So the government doesn’t project any increase in revenues over the next 70 years? That’s scarier than any of those bars.

    • WHY are revenues flat at 20% GDP? Given that revenues are flat, why assume that spending will continue at levels that produce pre-interest deficits of 10% of GDP every year, decade after decade after decade?

      If you make those assumptions, then of course interest payments will explode over time. Why not assume that all taxation ends, revenue falls to zero, and the interest payments explode sooner and faster? The assumptions are ridiculous.

      Over this time period, revenues will increase or spending will fall relative to revenues. NO ONE is going to lend us money for those kinds of deficits for the next 70 years. Sorry, this graph is totally useless. Trash it.