Report: The 2014 CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook

    CRFB's MacGuineas on Bloomberg TV

    CRFB Examines Budget Process At Age 40

    Fixing the Highway Fund

Report: The 2014 CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook

  

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook, detailing the budget picture for the next 75 years. The report shows debt rising as a share of the economy continuously after 2017, a trend which CBO describes as unsustainable over the long run. Read our six-page analysis of the report here.

 

CRFB's MacGuineas on Bloomberg TV

 

CRFB President Maya MacGuineas appeared on Bloomberg Television to discuss CBO's Long-Term Budget Outlook and how imperative it is for lawmakers to address our nation's fiscal challenges. Watch the full interview on Bloomberg TV here.

CRFB Examines Budget Process At Age 40

 

Our new paper, The Budget Act at 40: Time for a Tune Up? details many problems facing the current budget process including lack of transparency, lack of accountability, and lack of a long-term focus. These issues have resulted in poor planning and policy around the debt, with the process increasingly becoming ad hoc, ineffective, and short-sighted in practice. Read the blog here.

Fixing the Highway Fund

 

In light of the nearing insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, CRFB recently released a new paper -- Trust or Bust: Fixing the Highway Trust Fund -- along with blogs detailing options to increase revenue, reduce spending, identify new revenue sources, finance a general revenue transfer, and fix the budgetary treatment of the HTF.

 

 

CRFB's Blog: The Bottom Line

July 22, 2014
How Long-Term Debt Looks With Different Assumptions

Any budget projection is inherently uncertain, and that uncertainty is magnified when the projection period is extended to 25 or 75 years, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) does in its long-term outlook. That's why CBO publishes an Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS), to illustrate what would happen to debt if lawmakers cut taxes and increase spending differently than projected by current law (the Appendix of our analysis explains the differences). However, policy is not the only source of uncertainty in long-term projections; the economic and technical assumptions used also greatly affect CBO's estimates. Fortunately, CBO provides a band of assumptions for mortality, productivity, interest rates, and health care cost growth, showing how they would each affect debt in 2039 (at 111 percent of GDP in the Extended Baseline, including economic feedback effects). We delve into these details below.

On Tuesday, July 15, the Bipartisan Policy Center held an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Congressional Budget Act, which occurred on July 12. The event featured two panel discussions: the first panel included six former Directors of the Congressional Budget Office (including CRFB Board members Alice Rivlin, Rudy Penner, and Dan Crippen), and the second panel consisted of former Chairmen and members of the House and Senate Budget Committees (including CRFB Co-Chair Bill Frenzel and Board member Jim Jones). Bill Hoagland, another CRFB Board member, presided over the event. Both panels touched on the merits of the Congressional Budget Office, which the Budget Act created, and the failure of Congress to pass concurrent budget resolutions in recent years. The speakers also touched on many of the issues raised in our recent paper on the problems with the budget process. On the whole, the panelists stated that the political polarization of Congress, not inadequacies in the Budget Act, was a main reason for the gridlock in the process.

July 21, 2014
Easier to add debt than choose

The United States debt now stands at $18 trillion. This is double what it was just a few years ago. The trend, under the presently proposed budgets of President Obama, is that it will triple in another five to seven years.

People point facts like this out all the time. But the response from the president and the Congress is to add more spending that has not been paid for, thus increasing the debt problem.

July 21, 2014
The Two Budgeteers: All for One in Effort to Update Budget Act

Since ratification of the constitutional authority given to Congress to tax and spend in 1788, our government has struggled to manage the federal budget. After numerous failed budget concepts and commissions, the Budget Act was finally enacted in 1974 to establish the modern-day budget process. Almost exactly 40 years since the Budget Act was signed into law, there is growing consensus among policymakers and budget observers that the system no longer functions as intended.

 
June 4, 2013
CRFB's latest interactive tool "The Reformer" is a handy game that allows users to design their own Social Security plan. Users can select from a wide variety of benefit and revenue changes to make the system sustainably solvent. The tool then shows the effect on the program's finances and benefit and tax levels.
September 27, 2011
If you've ever wanted to design your own corporate tax reform, now you can with our new Interactive Tax Reform Calculator. There is no question that the U.S. corporate tax system is badly in need of reform, and leaders in both parties have been pursuing this goal.

CRFB Projects

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is an unprecedented and bipartisan coalition that seeks to mobilize members of business, government, and policy communities to urge Congress and the President to enact a comprehensive debt deal.

The Moment of Truth (MOT) project is a non-profit, non-partisan effort that seeks to foster honest discussion about the nation’s fiscal challenges, the difficult choices that must be made to solve them, and the potential for bipartisan compromise that can move the debate forward and set our country on a sustainable path.