Terrence P. Jeffrey
May 8, 2014
Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, referencing the Congressional Budget Office’s long-term budget projections, told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress today that under current policies the federal government’s deficits “will rise to unsustainable levels.”
In the 10-year budget projections it released in April, the CBO estimated that the federal government will run $7.618 trillion in deficits from 2015 through 2024. At the same time, the CBO projected that the federal government’s debt held by the public would rise from $11.983 trillion at the end of fiscal 2013 to $20.947 trillion by the end of 2024.
The debt held by the public is the part of the U.S. government debt that is not held by the federal government itself. It primarily consists of marketable Treasury securities, including bills, notes and bonds. It does not include what the government calls “intragovernmental debt,” which is the money the Treasury has borrowed out of the Social Security Trust Fund and other government trust funds to pay current expenses.