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Is the United States' fiscal imbalance about to become a critical threat to the nation? CED says yes, that the US debt is on the cusp of threatening US world leadership and its prosperity in the not-so-distant future. It sees not a certain and predictable catastrophe ahead but rather a growing risk. This executive summary covers CED’s assessment of the issue—including the history of the US debt, its growth, and the objections of “deficit scolds”—and CED’s multipronged recommendations for changing fiscal policy to deal with this long-neglected problem.