Bernanke Says Current U.S. Fiscal Policy Can’t Be Sustained for 20 Years

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke urged lawmakers to clarify fiscal plans “as soon as possible” to ensure the nation’s long-term budgetary health.

“It is very clear” that “on current, reasonable expectations about policy that the U.S. federal deficit will be unsustainable within 15 or 20 years at the most,” Bernanke said in response to questions from the Senate Budget Committee. “Possibly some of those effects will be brought forward by markets, for example,” he said during testimony.

“These are concerns, I want to emphasize, which are not just about our children 20 years from now but they could have effects much sooner if markets begin to lose confidence,” the Fed chairman said.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at

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