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Carbon Taxes, the Federal Budget, and Climate Change

Sep 2011
Policy Brief
By  Marc Hafstead
The United States faces a significant long-term fiscal crisis. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s June 2011 projections of the federal deficit (before the passage of the Budget Control Act), the total deficit between 2011 and 2021 would be an estimated $7.6 trillion under an extended baseline estimate that assumes current law stays fixed. Under an alternative fiscal scenario that would occur if expected modifications to current law take place, the total accumulated deficit would be $13 trillion. These deficits would lead to a national debt–GDP ratio of 76 percent in 2021 in the extended baseline estimate and 101 percent under the alternative fiscal scenario.The United States faces a significant long-term fiscal crisis. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s June 2011 projections of the federal deficit (before the passage of the Budget Control Act), the total deficit between 2011 and 2021 would be an estimated $7.6 trillion under an extended baseline estimate that assumes current law stays fixed. Under an alternative fiscal scenario that would occur if expected modifications to current law take place, the total accumulated deficit would be $13 trillion. These deficits would lead to a national debt–GDP ratio of 76 percent in 2021 in the extended baseline estimate and 101 percent under the alternative fiscal scenario.