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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 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…

  • WebMemo posted June 1, 2010 by James C. Capretta Obamacare: Impact on Future Generations

    President Obama and other proponents of the recently passed health care law argue that the legislation was desperately needed to improve the nation’s health system for both today’s citizens as well as future generations. But there are many reasons to be concerned that this new law will instead deliver both a lower quality health system and more costly and burdensome…

  • WebMemo posted March 23, 2010 by Brian M. Riedl Stimulus Jobs Count: CBO Admits It Ignored the Economy’s Actual Performance

    If a meteorologist was asked what the day's high temperature had been, would it be acceptable to simply repeat his/her earlier forecast? Of course not. The forecast was merely a prediction, which should now be replaced with what actually happened. Yet that is the approach the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) used when declaring that the stimulus had saved 1.5 million…

  • WebMemo posted January 21, 2011 by James C. Capretta, Kathryn Nix Obamacare and the Budget: Playing Games with Numbers

    The federal government’s finances were dismal even before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted. That is why lawmakers who pushed for its passage felt compelled to try to calm worried Americans by claiming that the law would cut projected federal budget deficits in addition to covering the uninsured.[1] And, in fact, the Congressional…

  • 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 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

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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