Government debt is on track to hit historically high levels and, at at its current growth rate, will by 2028 be nearly equal in size to the US economy, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
The debt is projected to grow to 96 percent of GDP by 2028 before eventually surpassing the historical high of 106 percent it reached in 1946.
Currently, the federal government’s debt burden is about $15 trillion, according to Marc Goldwein, senior vice president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The 1946 high was prompted by a spending push to fund World War II, and other spikes in the debt have been driven by economic downturns. But the current bump comes amid a relatively healthy economy, suggesting a structural gap between how much the country collects in taxes and how much it spends.
The ‘‘debt-to-GDP’’ measurement compares the overall amount of debt held by the federal government with the size of the US economy. Economists use it to illustrate the scope of the deficit, providing a comparison that takes into account inflation and overall economic growth.
In its analysis, the CBO assumes the individual-income-tax cuts of the tax law passed last fall will expire before the end of this decade.