Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

What Will the Budget Look like in 2022?

Feb 15, 2012 | Budgets & Projections

In this edition of our continuing analysis of the President's FY 2013 budget, we will now examine what the budget will look like in 2022, the end of the 10-year window, compared to today. Under President Obama's proposal, spending would fall from 23.3 percent of GDP in 2013 to 22.0 percent in 2018, before rising again to 22.8 percent in 2022. Every year would be above the 30-year historical average of 21 percent of GDP, although below the 24.3 percent spending in 2012.

Not only will the top-line levels of outlays be different than today, but the composition of outlays will shift as the population ages, health care costs continue to rise and the debt grows relative to today.


Between now and 2022, because of the continued economic recovery, outlays on countercyclical programs are projected to decline. Of course, spending on the wars and many economic recovery measures will decline from X percent of GDP to nearly zero in 2022, with only $44 billion for war spending left at that point. Furthermore, spending on income support programs, consisting of food stamps, unemployment insurance, refundable tax credits, and other safety net programs will move from X percent of the budget to X percent in 2022.