U.S. debt held by the public will balloon to 150 percent of economic output by 2047 unless tax and spending laws are changed, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday, far exceeding the record level just after World War II.
The new projections show steeper 30-year debt growth than last year's long-term forecast by the non-partisan budget analysis agency, and could make it harder for some members of Congress to support a tax reform plan that is partly financed with higher deficits.
Last year, the CBO estimated U.S. public debt would grow to 141 percent of gross domestic product by 2046, while the record was 106 percent of GDP in 1946. That level would be reached in 2035, the CBO said.
Under this year's projection, CBO predicts public debt for 2017 to be about 77 percent of GDP, growing to 89 percent in 2027 and 113 percent in 2037.
The new forecasts assume that the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law known as Obamacare that House Republicans failed to replace last week, stays in place for the long term.
The projected debt growth reflects CBO's estimates of the rising costs of caring for a growing population of people over 65, growth in interest costs, and assumptions of slower economic growth due to reduced assumptions about productivity gains (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)