The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: Fall 2012 Update

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Other written product issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO's simulations continue to illustrate that the federal government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path. In both the Baseline Extended and Alternative simulations, debt held by the public grows as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) over the long term. While the timing and pace of growth varies depending on the assumptions used, neither set of assumptions achieves a sustainable path. In the Baseline Extended simulation, which assumes current law, including the discretionary spending limits and other spending reductions contained in the Budget Control ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 3, 2012.

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Description

Other written product issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO's simulations continue to illustrate that the federal government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path. In both the Baseline Extended and Alternative simulations, debt held by the public grows as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) over the long term. While the timing and pace of growth varies depending on the assumptions used, neither set of assumptions achieves a sustainable path. In the Baseline Extended simulation, which assumes current law, including the discretionary spending limits and other spending reductions contained in the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 and expiration of certain tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, debt as a share of GDP declines in the short term before turning up again. In the Alternative simulation, in which these laws are assumed to not take full effect, federal debt as a share of GDP grows throughout the period. Discretionary spending limits alone do not address the fundamental imbalance between estimated revenue and spending, which is driven largely by the aging of the population and rising health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) slows the growth of health care spending and federal debt under the Baseline Extended simulation, in which cost-containment mechanisms are assumed to be fully implemented and effective. However, some have questioned whether these mechanisms can be sustained over the long term; this is reflected in GAO's Alternative simulation."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 3, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: Fall 2012 Update, text, December 3, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301920/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.