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Baseline Budget Projections Under Alternative Assumptions

Description: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates a baseline budget based on simple rules prescribed by law. Statute requires CBO to project a baseline of revenues and outlays under current law over the next 10 years. Arguably, a “better guess” of the probable path of the federal budget under current policy might be achieved by modifying four assumptions in the CBO baseline. First, that discretionary spending will remain constant as a share of GDP rather than growing at the rate of inflation. Second, that military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue and should be counted in the baseline rather than omitted. Third, that recent tax reduction will be extended rather than allowed to expire. Fourth, that the alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief will be extended rather than allowing the AMT to “take back” the reductions in regular income tax.
Date: February 8, 2005
Creator: Esenwein, Gregg A. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department