Three factors explain the projected substantial growth in a few of the government’s large programs: the aging of the population, rising health care spending per beneficiary, and the ACA’s expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance.
Director Doug Elmendorf testified on CBO's latest report on the long-term budget outlook. Also today, CBO issued "The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook in 26 Slides," which highlights the key points of the analysis.
If current laws remained generally unchanged, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2039 and would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy—a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.
CBO examined the implications of various approaches to altering the Social Security payroll tax rates as well as the taxable maximum (the maximum amount of earnings on which those payroll taxes are imposed).
Using the rising amounts of renewable transportation fuels required by the Renewable Fuel Standard will be difficult. CBO looks at how those requirements and alternatives would affect fuel and food prices and greenhouse gas emissions.
CBO finds that Ex-Im Bank’s credit programs would generate a budgetary cost using fair-value accounting—as opposed to savings under the current approach for measuring costs—because it more fully accounts for risk the government takes on.