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  • Commentary posted April 17, 2014 by Stephen Moore Who Shrank the Deficit?

    A budget deficit of nearly half a trillion dollars is hardly something to cheer about, but the big decline in federal red ink as a share of our national output has been a stunning achievement. The new April budget update from the Congressional Budget Office tells us that, in 2009, Barack Obama and the Democrats rang up an elephantine $1.3 trillion deficit, which amounted…

  • Commentary posted October 17, 2013 by Jim DeMint We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare

    Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it's worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law. I spent a good part…

  • Issue Brief posted August 13, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. CBO Should Measure Long-Term Obligations and Policy Impact

    Senators John Thune (R–SD) and Tim Kaine (D–VA) have introduced legislation to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to conduct long-term fiscal scoring and annual measurement of the fiscal gap.[1] Their effort is timely. Today, the largest fiscal questions facing Congress concern policies that will determine the health of America’s finances decades in the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 10, 2013 by Derrick Morgan How to Read the CBO’s Scoring of the Immigration Bill

    Sometime in the next few weeks, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will produce a “score” of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (known colloquially as the “Gang of Eight bill”), as recently reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. During the last congressional debate over immigration reform in 2007, a CBO…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2013 by Curtis S. Dubay CBO Report on “Tax Expenditures” Has It Wrong

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the distribution of “tax expenditures”[1] that some are wrongly using to push for additional tax increases. This was inevitable because the report takes the wrong approach to the issue. Wrongly Named The CBO misnames “tax expenditures.” Congress has explicitly inserted these provisions (routinely called…

  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Unknown Cost of Federal Student Loans

    As Congress again considers preventing the interest rate on federal student loans from doubling, the cost to taxpayers should be a central issue. However, the federal government’s accounting practices systematically understate the cost of student loans by failing to account for market risk. A superior method called “fair value accounting,” which is the strong preference…

  • Issue Brief posted February 5, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Questions Raised by the CBO Report

    As expected, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook released today continued the pattern of predicting a strong recovery just two years away.[1] Although CBO’s economic approach is typical among forecasters and historically unbiased, the economy’s persistent failure to launch as predicted raises questions. Are current conditions of persistent…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low-Income Workers Are High

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on effective marginal tax rates for low-income workers.[1] An effective marginal tax rate as defined by the CBO is the change in taxes and change in government benefits associated with increases in income. Because tax rates and government benefits change as income changes, an individual’s effective marginal tax rate…

  • Issue Brief posted September 28, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr. Why Medicare Premium Support Would Not Cost Future Beneficiaries $6,400 More

    Opponents of Medicare premium support routinely charge that it would cost future retirees $6,400 more annually. In fact, this dollar amount is incorrect, and the charge is erroneous. Such false charges are based on an outdated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) model of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) 2011 budget proposal. Ryan’s 2012 proposal,…

  • Issue Brief posted September 26, 2012 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Obama Could Prevent a Made-in-Washington Recession

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts a recession for 2013. Forecasters rarely anticipate a recession. Almost by definition, recessions surprise. Some unexpected force or forces conspire to so disrupt the economy that it contracts. What makes this recession different, and predictable, is that the disruptive force is Washington policies and, even more,…

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  • Issue Brief posted June 14, 2012 by Romina Boccia CBO Report Echoes Trustees on Medicare, Social Security

    The 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) long-term budget outlook illustrates a grim picture for the nation’s fiscal future unless entitlements are reformed. In particular, spending on Medicare and Social Security is the largest driver of federal spending and debt. In combination with the 2012 trustees report, the projections in this latest CBO report present a…

  • WebMemo posted September 22, 2010 by Karen Campbell, Ph.D., Guinevere Nell, Paul L. Winfree Obamacare: Impact on the Economy

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care bill signed into law by President Obama in March, will overhaul the current health insurance system by enforcing mandates on individuals and businesses, expanding Medicaid, and introducing new taxes and fines to help pay for the increased “federal budgetary commitment to health care.” Contrary…

  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Unknown Cost of Federal Student Loans

    As Congress again considers preventing the interest rate on federal student loans from doubling, the cost to taxpayers should be a central issue. However, the federal government’s accounting practices systematically understate the cost of student loans by failing to account for market risk. A superior method called “fair value accounting,” which is the strong preference…

  • WebMemo posted February 1, 2012 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. CBO Baseline: A Few Quirks Do Not Distract from a Dismal Picture

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its baseline budget outlook through fiscal year 2022 on January 31. The analysis is as creditable to the CBO as its message is daunting to the nation. After squandering three years in which the signal consequences have been persistent high unemployment coupled with an unprecedented increase in the national debt, President…

  • WebMemo posted November 15, 2010 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Eliminating Partisan Analysis from Congress’s Support Agencies

    The incoming Congress has its hands full. It should prevent a massive tax hike from shellacking a weak economy, get a spend-happy President to repent, try to repeal or defang Obamacare, get a handle on entitlement spending, and much more. The going will be much easier if new Members first redress some bad habits at its support agencies, especially the Congressional Budget…

  • Issue Brief posted September 28, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr. Why Medicare Premium Support Would Not Cost Future Beneficiaries $6,400 More

    Opponents of Medicare premium support routinely charge that it would cost future retirees $6,400 more annually. In fact, this dollar amount is incorrect, and the charge is erroneous. Such false charges are based on an outdated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) model of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) 2011 budget proposal. Ryan’s 2012 proposal,…

  • WebMemo posted January 26, 2011 by Brian M. Riedl New CBO Budget Baseline Reveals Permanent Trillion-Dollar Deficits

    The new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 10-year budget baseline shows a virtually unprecedented sea of red ink. The report reveals an unprecedented $1.5 trillion deficit in fiscal year (FY) 2011—an increase of $95 billion over their last 2011 estimate.[1] This will be the third consecutive year of trillion-dollar deficits. However, the baseline includes a number…

  • Commentary posted October 17, 2013 by Jim DeMint We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare

    Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it's worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law. I spent a good part…

  • WebMemo posted June 25, 2008 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. AMT Patch Bill Disguises a Tax Hike, Again

    There they go again. The House of Representatives passed another huge tax increase. Earlier in the year they passed a big, economically harmful tax hike attached to a bill expanding veterans' benefits. This time, they married a big tax hike to a bill extending the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch for 2009.[1] They tried this tax hike ruse earlier in the year when…

  • Backgrounder posted February 16, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay Tax Extenders and the AMT Patch: Time to Pull the Plug on Congress’s Annual Dance

    Abstract: A host of annual tax-reducing provisions expired on December 31, 2011. As it does each year, before restoring these policies, Congress is sure to argue about how to “pay for” extending these tax reducers, for some of which have been the law as long as 30 years. As the debate plays out, Congress should remember that continuing these tax policies—thus preventing…

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  • Issue Brief posted August 13, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. CBO Should Measure Long-Term Obligations and Policy Impact

    Senators John Thune (R–SD) and Tim Kaine (D–VA) have introduced legislation to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to conduct long-term fiscal scoring and annual measurement of the fiscal gap.[1] Their effort is timely. Today, the largest fiscal questions facing Congress concern policies that will determine the health of America’s finances decades in the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 10, 2013 by Derrick Morgan How to Read the CBO’s Scoring of the Immigration Bill

    Sometime in the next few weeks, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will produce a “score” of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (known colloquially as the “Gang of Eight bill”), as recently reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. During the last congressional debate over immigration reform in 2007, a CBO…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2013 by Curtis S. Dubay CBO Report on “Tax Expenditures” Has It Wrong

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the distribution of “tax expenditures”[1] that some are wrongly using to push for additional tax increases. This was inevitable because the report takes the wrong approach to the issue. Wrongly Named The CBO misnames “tax expenditures.” Congress has explicitly inserted these provisions (routinely called…

  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Unknown Cost of Federal Student Loans

    As Congress again considers preventing the interest rate on federal student loans from doubling, the cost to taxpayers should be a central issue. However, the federal government’s accounting practices systematically understate the cost of student loans by failing to account for market risk. A superior method called “fair value accounting,” which is the strong preference…

  • Issue Brief posted February 5, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Questions Raised by the CBO Report

    As expected, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook released today continued the pattern of predicting a strong recovery just two years away.[1] Although CBO’s economic approach is typical among forecasters and historically unbiased, the economy’s persistent failure to launch as predicted raises questions. Are current conditions of persistent…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low-Income Workers Are High

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on effective marginal tax rates for low-income workers.[1] An effective marginal tax rate as defined by the CBO is the change in taxes and change in government benefits associated with increases in income. Because tax rates and government benefits change as income changes, an individual’s effective marginal tax rate…

  • Issue Brief posted September 28, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr. Why Medicare Premium Support Would Not Cost Future Beneficiaries $6,400 More

    Opponents of Medicare premium support routinely charge that it would cost future retirees $6,400 more annually. In fact, this dollar amount is incorrect, and the charge is erroneous. Such false charges are based on an outdated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) model of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) 2011 budget proposal. Ryan’s 2012 proposal,…

  • Issue Brief posted September 26, 2012 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Obama Could Prevent a Made-in-Washington Recession

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts a recession for 2013. Forecasters rarely anticipate a recession. Almost by definition, recessions surprise. Some unexpected force or forces conspire to so disrupt the economy that it contracts. What makes this recession different, and predictable, is that the disruptive force is Washington policies and, even more,…

  • Issue Brief posted September 12, 2012 by Patrick Louis Knudsen FY 2013 Continuing Resolution: Spends Every Dollar and More

    The House Appropriations Committee website proudly displays Congress’s constitutional authority over the federal government’s purse strings: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law” (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7). That is about best that can be said, however, for the six-month fiscal year (FY) 2013 continuing…

  • Issue Brief posted August 2, 2012 by James C. Capretta Obamacare Remains a Budgetary and Policy Disaster

    Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued an updated cost estimate for the law,[1] which unsurprisingly is not strikingly different from its previous estimates. Nonetheless, an examination of CBO’s latest findings, along with other evidence, makes it clear that Obamacare remains a budgetary disaster. What Can Be…

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Find more work on Congressional Budget Office