CBO’s projection of the nation’s potential output—that is, the maximum sustainable amount of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product that the economy can produce—is lower now than it was several years ago. For example, the agency’s projection for 2017 is about 7 percent lower than its projection in January 2007. This report explains the reasons for that change.
Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly.
The federal budget deficit will shrink to $514 billion in 2014, or 3 percent of GDP, CBO projects. Under current law, it will continue to decline next year as the economy continues to improve, but beginning in 2016, deficits will rise, further boosting the already large federal debt.
CBO expects economic growth to be solid in the near term, but unemployment to remain elevated, finally dropping below 6.0 percent in 2017.
Since the recession ended in June 2009, employment has risen sluggishly and the unemployment rate has fallen only partway back to its prerecession level. That slow recovery of the labor market largely reflects the slow growth in the demand for goods and services.
Moreover, a significant part of the improvement in the unemployment rate is attributable to a decline in labor force participation—the result of an unusually large number of people having stopped looking for work.
The health care benefits provided to military service members, retirees, and their families are more generous than those generally provided through private or employment-based health insurance. Between 2000 and 2012, the cost of providing military health care increased by 130 percent (after adjusting for inflation).
This report examines some options for constraining those costs. The largest savings would come from increasing cost sharing for military retirees.
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H.R. 2131, Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act (SKILLS Visa Act)cost estimateMarch 12, 2014
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H.R. 4138, Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law Act of 2014cost estimateMarch 10, 2014
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