Since the Great Recession, the budget deficit has fallen precipitously, but a serious long-run problem still exists as a burgeoning elderly population will push Social Security and health costs upward. Health costs do not seem as large a threat as in earlier projections because of a recent slowdown. However, the budget is now much more vulnerable to interest rate increases as the Great Recession and stimulus program doubled the debt-GDP ratio. Program reforms are desperately needed, but the bipartisan cooperation necessary for reform seems increasingly unlikely.
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