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U.S. debt set to soar to "unprecedented levels" over next 30 years, CBO says

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Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images

Large budget deficits would see the U.S. federal debt swell to "unprecedented levels" over the next 30 years if current laws remain unchanged, the Congressional Budget Office said as it released a new report Tuesday.

By the numbers: The CBO forecasts federal debt to rise from 78% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 to 92% in 2029 and 144% in 2049.

"That level of debt would be the highest in the nation’s history by far, and it would be on track to increase even more. The prospect of such high and rising debt poses substantial risks for the nation, and presents policymakers with significant challenges."
— CBO report

The big picture: Agency director Phillip Swagel said in a statement the prospect of such large deficits over many years, and the high and rising debt that would result, "poses substantial risks for the nation and presents policymakers with significant challenges."

Go deeper: National debt surpasses $22 trillion