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Fiscal Sustainability

By Gene Krebs. Greater Ohio has always had a concern about fiscal sustainability, targeting of resources and fix it first infrastructure reforms.  We feel like this is a natural tie to our smart growth mission.  Last week Michael Peterson of the Peterson Foundation came to Columbus for a press conference to unveil their new effort to get Americans to focus on the nation debt problem.

I was invited to attend and speak and the following is from the data released a the press event.  The total federal debt is now at about 90% of GDP.  Official government statistics from the CBO show that growing to more than 200% by 2040 and 400% in the 2050s.  For reference, Greece hit the wall at 115%.  We will get there in less than 10 years.

Annual interest today is a staggering $200 billion, which is more than the federal government spends on education and infrastructure combined.  By 2027, interest payments becomes the single largest line item in the budget.  By 2055, it literally takes up all federal revenues, leaving nothing for all federal programs.  This powerful data is proof that governance reform is needed immediately.