he US racked up debt faster than any other G7 country during the Great Recession, so that its debt burden is now as bad as the average European country. If current projections hold, by 2040 the US will have the worst debt burden of any G7 country save for Japan, reaching levels not seen since World War II.
The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio has nearly grown to the Group of 7 (G7) average, a dramatic increase from 2000 when it was lower than most other G7 countries, according to a new progress report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations Renewing America initiative. At its current rate, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio will be higher than all G7 countries except Japan by 2040.
What's the difference between debt and deficit? What does the "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, mean for deficit reduction? Research Links on Debt and Deficits provides news, research, data, and proposed solutions on debt and deficit in the United States (local and federal) and international comparisons.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook outlines the risk factors and warning signs of a solvency crisis in Egypt in this Contingency Planning Memorandum and offers policy options to prevent such a crisis or mitigate its consequences.
Peter R. Orszag argues that new legislation giving health-care providers full responsibility for patient care, costs, and outcomes is an encouraging step toward increasing the quality of care supplied per Medicare dollar spent.
Peter R. Orszag argues that the United States will be unable to improve the efficiency of its health-care system unless it more aggressively pursues research into the comparative effectiveness of medical treatments.
Authors: Peter R. Orszag, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Ezekiel Emanuel Bloomberg.com
Peter Orszag, Ezekiel Emanuel, and Sheldon Whitehouse argue that the success of the "tech surge" in improving HealthCare.gov should inspire President Barack Obama to mobilize a similar effort to reduce health-care costs.
It has been a generation since our country last had a robust conversation about combatting poverty. Now is the time to reinvigorate that conversation, not cut needed benefits, write Robert E. Rubin, Roger C. Altman, and Melissa Kearney.
Although the government shutdown was costly for both the economy and U.S. foreign policy, Micah Zenko points out that the United States will remain above-average and the ultimate impact was the "opportunity cost of applying finite time and resources to political theater rather than tangible policy accomplishments."
As the Tea Party's scorched-earth tactics threaten to burn down the Republican Party's house, Julia Sweig reflects on the role of factional politics and democratic expansion in U.S. history, and on the crossroads we have reached in the present day.
Authors: Peter R. Orszag and John Bridgeland Politico
Peter Orszag and John Bridgeland argue that the federal government needs to do a better job of figuring out what programs work, giving more funding to the programs that are effective, and cutting funding from that programs that are not.
Michael Spence argues that continued U.S. debt ceiling brinkmanship will reinforce perceptions that American politics are helplessly parochial, encourage other nations to diversify away from holding U.S. sovereign debt, and accelerate the decline of America's global economic influence.
After Congress passed a budget and raised the debt ceiling after a sixteen day government shutdown, President Obama spoke on three agenda items: passing a budget, reforming immigration, and subsidizing farms.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »