April 19, 2010

Net Interest Rivals General Spending by 2040

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New Research by Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy examines the cost of the debt in another way. Using the Congressional Budget Office’s long-term budget projections, this chart compares the relative contributions of general, Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and net interest spending. While general spending and Social Security spending are projected to remain relatively constant through 2040, spending on Medicare and Medicaid is projected to grow to 11% of GDP from its current 5%. Most shockingly, interest costs, or spending to maintain our debt, are projected to increase by more than 7 times by 2040 to 9.3% of GDP – this is a far larger share of our GDP than is currently dedicated to any single department, war or program.

Learn more about the increasing costs of debt.