In response to a request from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Phillip Swagel, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, outlined Monday what the next decade could look like for the United States if current economic trends continue.
In his letter, Swagel said the coronavirus pandemic prompted the CBO to significantly alter their economic projections in the span of a few months. Their estimate for the level of nominal GDP in the second quarter of 2020 is now 14.2 percent lower than it was in January. Things improve slightly after that — the difference in the January and May estimates is 9.4 percent for the end of 2020 and 2.2 percent by the end of 2030 — but, all told, that means the cumulative nominal economic output over the next decade is nearly $15.7 trillion less than the agency had pegged in January. Adjusted for inflation, that figure comes in at 7.9 trillion.
Schumer, in a joint statement with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), pointed to those numbers as a reason why "the Senate must act with a fierce sense of urgency to make sure that everyone in America has the income they need to feed their families and put a roof over their heads," rather than waiting to pass more legislation. Tim O'Donnell