Posts Tagged ‘CBO’

A “Normal” Budget Isn’t Really Normal

Treasury closed the financial books on fiscal 2014 last week. As my colleague Howard Gleckman noted, the top line figures all came in close to their 40-year averages. The $483 billion deficit was about 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, for example, slightly below the 3.2 percent average of the past four decades. Tax revenues […]

Taxes and Spending Return To “Normal”– But Not For Long

Yesterday, the Treasury Department reported that the deficit for Fiscal Year 2014, which ended on Sept. 30, fell to $483 billion, or about 2.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product. This being Washington, the report was hailed as either an enormous success or dismissed as meaningless.  Who is right? Is it good news or bad news? […]

The $300 billion question: How should we budget for federal lending?

Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans, mortgage guarantees, and the Export-Import Bank. According to an alternative that CBO […]

CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income […]

Individual Income Taxes May Soon Generate Half of All Federal Tax Revenue

Over the next decade, the individual income tax will be the fastest growing source of federal revenue, according to new estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. In fact, the individual income tax will pretty much be the only revenue source likely to increase significantly over the next decade.  As a result, it will generate more […]

Where Are Tax Rates Headed?

Effective tax rates have been rising since 2009 and will continue to rise for a few more years before they flatten out, according to Tax Policy Center projections. My TaxVox post earlier this week showed how average federal tax rates have changed over the past three decades. But that was based on a 30-year history […]

Can Expiring Tax Provisions Save the Budget Talks?

There is lots of buzz around Washington about whether a laundry list of expiring tax provisions could be the key to a modest budget agreement. Sadly, it is hard to see how.   The theory goes like this: Democrats might agree to some cuts in programs such as Medicare if Republicans swallow some new revenues. […]

The U.S.May Not Default on Friday But Washington Is Still Playing A Dangerous Game

What’s going to happen on October 18 if Congress doesn’t vote to increase the debt limit? Probably nothing. Make no mistake, Washington is still wading in exceedingly treacherous waters as the President and Congress wrestle over a deal to avoid–at least for now—a breach of the nation’s borrowing authority. The government risks financial calamity if […]

TPC Takes a New Look at Incomes

The Tax Policy Center has changed the way it calculates income. The new definition, which TPC calls “expanded cash income” or ECI, will raise measured income for most taxpayers. ECI includes sources of income TPC previously excluded such as employer contributions to retirement plans and health insurance, income earned by retirement accounts, and food stamp […]

Are Low Interest Rates Masking Future Deficits?

Thanks to artificially low interest rates, the United States has been able to finance deficits exceeding $1 trillion every year from 2009 through 2012 at very low cost. Throughout the period, the ratio of interest to the GDP has remained almost stable and is not expected to start rising until 2015. Some argue that this […]