The US economy is in trouble.
According to a new report from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), the US economy has shrunk by about 1.8% in the first three months of the year.
That’s less than half the growth rate it recorded in the same period last year, which was the first time in more than a decade the economy has lost ground.
And it’s still a long way from recovering from the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009.
That recession caused the US to experience a steep decline in real wages, which has been blamed for the economic downturn.
And while real GDP is still expanding, it’s now a fraction of what it was just a decade ago.
“In a year when so many are struggling, the US has shown itself to be a very fragile, fragile economy,” said Steve Keating, a former chairman of the CRFB.
“We are on the brink of a major economic shock.
If we don’t do something soon, the economy could collapse in just a few years.”
The report, which includes a full breakdown of the US government’s budget deficit, finds that the country is in deep trouble.
Its fiscal situation has deteriorated from a surplus of $1.4 trillion in March to a deficit of $6.4 billion in December.
And in the past year, federal spending has more than tripled, from $9.9 billion in 2015 to $11.6 billion in 2017.
That spending has left the federal government with a huge budget deficit and, in turn, a $1 trillion debt.
That debt is due to the US’s failure to rein in its spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, as well as the Affordable Care Act, which many have criticized for forcing seniors to pay higher premiums, higher deductibles and other cost-sharing reductions.
The report estimates that the federal debt will grow to $19.7 trillion by 2022.
This debt is likely to be the largest since the early 1970s, when the country’s government debt was nearly $2 trillion.
“Our debt is a lot bigger than we thought,” said David Stockman, director of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
“If you’re a government administrator, you have to be very concerned about this debt.
But you don’t have to worry about it.”
The federal debt has ballooned over the past decade, and its cumulative debt-to-GDP ratio is nearly four times higher than it was in 2007, when George W. Bush took office.
But there’s a good chance that the debt will reach a record low by the end of this decade, at around $2.5 trillion.
The CRFB report says the country will need $1,000 in the next year to fully pay off its debt.
And the number of Americans who could be facing the prospect of having to pay back debt increases significantly over the next decade.
The number of people who will owe more on their loans is expected to increase by more than 10 million, from 8.3 million in 2019 to 15.7 million in 2027.
That increase comes from the rising cost of college, a major factor in the US student debt explosion.
The US has a $2,400 national debt, which is more than double the debt in France and nearly five times that in Italy, the report says.
That means the average student will owe nearly $12,000 on their education over their lifetimes, which the report estimates will double by 2027, surpassing the $20,000 debt burden that’s being faced by seniors and the poor.
The debt will likely also affect how the US spends its money.
For instance, the debt has grown as the cost of goods and services has increased.
The total federal debt was $9 trillion in 2019, and by 2022, the CRB predicts it will be $18 trillion.
That is roughly double the size of the economy during the recession of 2007-2009.
In the past three years, the Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates and has begun to slow the pace of the increase in the debt, although the pace will likely slow further.
“I expect that our rate of growth will slow, in part because of the impact of the fiscal crisis and the slowing economy,” Keating said.
“But the Fed will continue to increase interest rates, and the Fed is doing this at a time when interest rates are low and inflation is low.”
The CRB says that as the US population ages, the number and percentage of people that are struggling to pay their bills will increase.
And that will lead to a longer and more painful economic downturn, as older workers are forced to cut back on spending to meet the increased costs.
The authors of the report note that many of the problems facing the US are likely to remain for decades.
“The federal debt and the debt burden are not just a matter of our lives and the health of our economy,” Stockman said.