Budget Projections

Don't Put the Budget on the Back Burner

A recent Washington Post article, “As Red Ink Recedes, Pressure Fades for a Budget Deal,” suggests that a fall in the short term deficits may diminish the motivation for a budget deal. But this misses the main concern of our fiscal outlook. While the short-term outlook has improved somewhat, long-term debt projections are still unsustainable.

The President's Budget in the Long Term

Continuing our analysis of the President's FY 2014 budget proposal, we turn to how the President's budget would affect long-term revenues and spending. As we said last Monday after looking at the GAO's long-term projections of debt and deficits, our debt problem looks much more daunting when projecting beyond the standard ten-year window. With that in mind, it is useful to look at OMB's 75-year projections of the President's Budget.

"A Bipartisan Path Forward" and the Long Term

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson's new plan, "A Bipartisan Path Forward to Securing America's Future," saves $2.5 trillion to $2.85 trillion over the next decade, exceeding the $2.4 trillion we identified as the minimum savings needed to put the debt on a clear downward path relative to the economy.

The Sequester and the Baseline

Since the President's budget was released last week, there has been an ongoing debate over how much it saves. We’ve tried to shed light on this question by showing the President’s offer and budget from five different baselines, but in some ways that has raised as many questions as answers.

GAO's Long-Term Budget Outlook

Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-term fiscal outlook, presenting both long-term projections and estimates of the fiscal gap. Since the last longer-term projections from CBO came out in June, the report provides a good measure of what the budget looks like after the American Taxpayer Relief Act and the challenge we face going forward.

At Halftime, FY 2013 Leads FY 2012 $601 Billion to $779 Billion

CBO's latest Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for March means that we now have budget data for the first six months of FY 2013. The six-month deficit stands at $601 billion, down from $779 billion over the same period last year. For context, CBO previously projected that the deficit for FY 2013 would be $845 billion, compared to the actual FY 2012 deficit of $1.089 trillion.

A "Dynamic" Amendment to the Senate Budget

Among the many amendments that were voted on to the Senate budget resolution, one caught the eye of POLITICO: Sen. Rob Portman's (R-OH) amendment to have the Congressional Budget Office/Joint Committee on Taxation use dynamic scoring.

The Uncertainty of Long-Term Projections

The Economic Policy Institute's Ethan Pollack has a blog post questioning the accuracy and ultimate usefulness of long-term (75-year) budget projection, especially CBO's Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS).

An Interesting Analysis of Interest Rates

The Congressional Budget Office has been busy on its blog lately, posting both snapshots of federal programs and also publishing responses to questions they have received from Members of Congress at hearings. Their latest post from director Doug Elmendorf is the latter variety, showing the sensitivity of budget projections to changes in interest rates.

How Much Might the Ryan Budget Have to Change to Reach Balance?

With the new expectation that the House budget resolution will reach balance in 10 years -- more than 15 years earlier than was projected last year -- there has been much speculation about how House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will modify last year's budget to reach the more aggressive target.

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