#156 The Next Debt Crisis: Maya MacGuineas

"The debt will be as large as our entire economy by the end of the decade", says Maya MacGuineas, President of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "Every indicator that you could look for in terms of the numbers is on flashing red alert."

The U.S. federal government debt is nearly $20 trillion and rising each year. Interest payments are the single fastest growing part of the federal budget, and higher interest rates in the near future will add to the enormous burden.

A recent report from the International Monetary Fund predicts that the U.S. will be the only advanced economy in the world to see its debt burden grow significantly over the next five years.

As seen recently with Italy's debt, a full-blown bond crisis can erupt at any time. But President Trump and both parties in Congress are barely focusing on the problem. Media coverage is usually confined to the business press.

This episode looks at why the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands projected annual deficits and is a huge gamble for the future of the economy.

Maya MacGuineas also discusses ways to restore fiscal balance through reducing unproductive tax breaks and putting the brakes on spending. Here's a link to a new interactive debt fixer tool and Social Security calculator, showing how your retirement benefits will be cut unless Washington acts.