Restoring Fiscal Sustainability in the United States
Posted: 19 Jun 2013
Date Written: October 25, 2010
The United States faces challenging budgetary prospects, as do most other OECD countries. The federal budget deficit widened considerably during the recession, reaching about 10% of GDP in both 2009 and 2010, reflecting the operation of automatic stabilizers and the policy response to the crisis. Consequently, public debt now stands at its highest level since the early-1950s. The Administration has proposed the objective of stabilising the debt-GDP ratio by 2015, which is realistic in scope and ambition, though it requires fiscal tightening measures which are yet to be identified. In the next decade, the effects of population ageing on entitlement spending will be increasingly felt and the fiscal situation could deteriorate significantly in the absence of structural reforms of pension and, especially, health-care programmes.
Keywords: sustainability, debt, VAT, health care, fiscal policy, budgets, ageing populations, United States 2010, deficit, tax expenditures
JEL Classification: B20, H51, H55, H60, H68, H75
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