January 29, 2010
In August 2009, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO, 2009) projected that the federal budget deficit would total $7.1 trillion over the 2010-2019 decade-under current law. That outcome would require the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to sunset as scheduled in 2011 and Congress to stop "patching" the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to minimize its bite. If neither of those things happens, CBO says the cumulative deficit over the decade would jump to $11.1 trillion, more than doubling the national debt. CBO characterizes that situation as being unsustainable and it is hard to find anyone who would disagree.