In January 2017, the 115th Congress of the United States convened for its 2-year term as we inaugurated our 45th President. That same month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the fiscal situation facing the United States over the coming ten years, "The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027." The report describes the situation that Congress and the President inherited from their predecessors. This inheritance was a projected path of increasing deficits and growing government debt relative to national income as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The deficits are fueled by a path of increases in government spending. Government spending in 2014 was 20.3 percent of GDP, equal to our 50-year average rate of spending. CBO projections indicate rising spending rates, from 20.5 percent of GDP in 2018 to 23.6 percent in 2027.