Budget Projections

Deficits are a First-Order Problem

Yesterday, Former Treasury Secretary and director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers argued that “budget deficits are now a second-order problem” and the focus should instead be on economic growth. Although the piece is in many ways insightful, it could perpetuate the myth in Washington that our debt problems are either solved or are no longer a pressing concern.

Introducing CRFB's Latest Long-Term Realistic Baseline

The release of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Long-Term Budget Outlook is one of the big events in the budget world, and we'd like to think that this blog is as well: the update of our CRFB Realistic Long-Term Baseline. Based off of the ten-year CRFB Realistic Baseline and CBO data, our long-term baseline draws a plausible path for where our future deficits and debt are headed.

CBO Releases Long-Term Budget Outlook

It's here — CBO has released its updated long-term baseline. Since December, many commentators have attempted to see where we stand since the fiscal cliff deal and recent slowdown in health care cost growth, coming to very different conclusions.

Budget Director: We Still Have a Long-Term Debt Problem

Reading the news these days, you might think our debt problem has been solved: the federal deficit has been revised downward and is falling to its lowest level in five years. Yesterday, however, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf made clear that he, for one, does not subscribe to that view.

It's Official: Budget Projections Have Changed

Last month after the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised their GDP numbers going back to 1929, we decided to take the intiative and project what the changes would do to CBO's current ten-year budget projections.

Carter and Weinstein: Look Beyond Ten Years

In an op-ed in POLITICO, former Senate Budget Committee staffer James Carter and Fiscal Commission adviser Paul Weinstein advised lawmakers to look beyond the short-term fiscal picture and the next ten years to the longer term. They note that too much focus has been on improvements in the near term due to legislative changes and technical re-estimates.

Comparing 2010 and 2013 Federal Government Spending

Late last week, the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold published a piece claiming that "big government is mostly unchanged" since 2010, when lawmakers turned their attention towards fiscal issues and Republicans took control of the House.

Peterson Foundation Depicts the Long Term...Interactively

Frequent readers of this blog will be familiar with projections of long term debt. But the Peterson Foundation has found an interesting interactive way to present that informs the viewers about what the long-term outlook looks like and what the possibilities are going forward.

Wessel: Prudent Politicians Would Focus on the Long Term, Today

In his column in today's Wall Street Journal and an accompanying audio clip, David Wessel takes on the question before Washington: Is the budget deficit falling, or does it pose a serious threat to the nation's prosperity? His answer: Yes to both. On one hand, the budget deficit is shrinking, due in large part to the recovering economy but also due to some of the savings lawmakers have enacted over the past year.

What the New GDP Numbers Mean for Budget Projections

Yesterday, we noted the revisions that CBO has made to its historical budget data going back to 1973, in light of the Bureau of Economic Analysis's revisions to GDP numbers going back to 1929. Although the nominal dollar totals are unaffected, numbers that were estimated as a percentage of GDP have all been revised downward, as a result of the higher GDP. We pointed out that the revisions were noticeable but certainly not huge.

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