CHARTS: How A Do-Nothing Congress Can Almost Eliminate The Deficit

Center for American Progress Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden notes that “if Congress does not pass any new fiscal policies between now and January 2013, the federal budget deficit will dwindle to just 1.6 percent of gross domestic product — the largest measure of our economy — by 2014, and continue dropping. Similarly, debt as a share of GDP will peak at 73 percent in 2013 and then decline down to 61 percent by 2021.”

The decrease would be due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the triggered spending cuts that were included in the debt ceiling deal going into effect, as well as the enactment of various policies that Congress always puts off, like the alternative minimum tax.