I couldn't help myself and ran a new projection. First, start with the most recent CBO baseline, just released. The CBO projects deficits as low as 196 billion in 2018. I think the CBO is smoking crack, and I don't see the deficit ever dipping below $1 trillion/year.
I take the revenues as given, but adjust them for tax cuts extensions and AMT patch, as stated by the CRFB. I accept the projections for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid through 2022, except for 2012 when the CBO projects a decrease in Medicaid spending. After 2022, I project Social Security and Medicare increasing by 7% per year, and Medicaid increasing by 8.3%. For other spending I project it increasing by 1% per year through 2022, and then 4.4% thereafter. Sorry, I just don't see spending actually decreasing.
I project nominal GDP as increasing by 4.4%/year after 2022, and revenue as maxing out at 20% of GDP and also increasing by 4.4%/year after 2022. There are some other assumptions I made which are not mentioned.
I assume that the dollar is stronger than previously assumed and will be stable until the net debt hits 150% of GDP. The tipping point is reached in 2036. The problem is that Social spending will continue to increase faster than revenue, and interest rates will skyrocket from 1.7% of GDP in 2012 to 8.4% of GDP in 2036.
I have previously opined that the dollar could survive as long as there was no alternative. Well, I think an alternative will emerge out of necessity.
Is there any way of forestalling this? Yes, a combination of higher revenue, caps on social spending, and continued low interest rates.