Published On: Thu, Feb 2nd, 2012

CBO Report: OMG!

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its annual report. It’s a blockbuster. This 165 page monster is filled with dozens of charts, graphs and detailed projections. It will be talked about for weeks. The report provides a dismal outlook for the economy. There is one data point I’d like to focus on.

Here is the CBO forecast for real GDP for 2012 and 2013:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1.1% Real GDP number for 2013 surprised me. The CBO’s expectations are way under those of both the “Blue Chip” economists and the Federal Reserve:

What does it mean if the economy is going to slow, as CBO now thinks? Some consequences:

The CBO now forecasts Social Security to run into trouble in just a few years. This is a very substantial change in the outlook for SS. Changed fortunes make it a certain that America’s favorite entitlement program will be on the table for a significant re-vamp.

The CBO has answered two critical question:

1) In what year does SS first goes into deficit (including interest)?

2) What is the size of the SS Trust Fund when #1 has been achieved?

Key data is here:

Using this information, we can estimate the Trust Funds (TF) balances over time, and compare them to what SS forecast in its report to Congress ten-months ago:

 

SSTF’s “Intermediate” (Base) case:

The bottom line is that the SSTF is going to top out three years ahead of “schedule” and be $800B shy of what it was “supposed” to be.

I think the CBO report has created a big headache for a good number of folks in D.C. Most of them are running for office this year. They certainly won’t be able to wave the CBO report as a measure of how well they are doing.

About the Author

- Bruce Krasting has been writing for the professional press for the last five years and has been on the Fox Business channel several times as a guest describing his written work. In January 2009, he started writing his blog, Bruce Krasting. From 1990-1995 he ran a private hedge fund in Greenwich Ct. called Falconer Limited. Investments were driven by macro developments.They expressed their views in global bonds, currencies, stocks, commodities and derivatives. He closed the fund and retired in 1995. Bruce has also been employed by Drexel Burnham Lambert, Citicorp, Credit Suisse and Irving Trust Corp. He hold a bachelor's degree in economics from Ithaca College and currently lives in Westchester, NY. We are very happy that Bruce has allowed us to post his articles here on These New Times, and we think you'll agree that his insights are detailed and often brilliant and he has a easy, readable style. You can read his blog everyday here

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  1. fitty k says:

    There is a victory in this report for the citizens. The fact that the CBO isn’t operating shill numbers for those in office is a plus for those of us stuck in reality. Compounding debt as a solution has run its course in the Beltway. These types of reports will hopefully continue to pressure our representatives to adopt a balance budget before austerity riots become the norm.

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