January 1, 2011
What will happen if the United States continues to ignore the size and growth of the national debt? This Way Down to a Debt Crisis is a "magazine from the future" that "reports" what might happen if the nation does not address the many dangers posed by rising national debt.What would a genuine debt crisis look like? This Way Down looks at several possible outcomes if public debt continues to rise at current rates. Scenario articles include, "Quake from Treasury Default Spreads," Emergency Government Cutbacks Continue," "'Stagflation' Returns," "Why Slower Wage Growth?," and :"A Narrow Escape." "This Way Down shows dramatically the risks of the troubling fiscal policy followed by the United States for decades. Now is the time for a real debate on our federal budget misbehavior. Our economic future demands fixing our structural deficit," said Dr. Joseph J. Minarik, CED's Senior Vice President and Director of Research, who prepared the report. This Way Down to a Debt Crisis outlines several "alternative futures" -- the potential consequences of, and a possible political solution for, a U.S. debt crisis -- as they might occur, through hypothetical news articles. Although these articles are of course fictitious, and include fictitious characters to illustrate the human consequences, they are based on sound economics and finance. Because the future is unknowable, it is by no means certain that any one of these scenarios will occur as described. In fact, the future is highly likely to surprise us in many respects. However, CED believes that these scenarios reflect well the serious outcomes of continued policy failure in the stewardship of the federal budget.