The national debt will hit $20 trillion after the next president is sworn in next year — a figure double that of when Barack Obama assumed the presidency in 2008, The Daily Signal reports.
The forecast comes from Washington think tank, the Bipartisan Policy Center, which projects the debt cap limit to be reinstated on March 16 at $20.1 trillion.
"When the debt limit is reinstated, the federal government's accumulated debt will immediately equal the new ceiling," the Bipartisan Policy Center writes. "The only way for Treasury to ensure that it continues to meet all government obligations in full and on time — absent action by policymakers — would be by deploying so-called 'extraordinary measures.' These include various legal maneuvers that allow Treasury to temporarily reduce its intragovernmental debt — such as by delaying contributions to federal retirement funds — to make room for additional borrowing from the public that is necessary to finance current obligations."
Shai Akabas, the center's director of fiscal policy, told the Daily Signal that while it is uncertain what new revenues and outlays will be, "we project the total gross debt will hit $20 trillion sometime in February."
February, Akabas noted, is when most income tax refunds are sent out.
The Congressional Budget Office expects the gross debt to hit $20.15 trillion in 2017, the Signal noted, though it does not break down the numbers by month.
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