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U.S. Debt Ceiling

The deficit on the horizon

The deficit on the horizon

Congress received some bad news this week that is likely to be ignored if only because of its inconvenience. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that for the first time in years, federal deficits will soon be steadily increasing, chiefly because of aging baby boomers and the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare.

The change is not imminent, as Fiscal 2017 and 2018 are expected to continue the trend of falling deficits that we've seen since the height of the financial crisis. But the 2019 shortfall is projected to creep up to $601 billion. And the issue of what to do about the deficit could arrive much earlier — Congress will once again need to raise the...