Major Recurring Reports

This page covers recurring reports that CBO has published since 2000. Some of the reports listed here have been published since the 1970s; those earlier reports are all available on CBO's website but are not shown here.

 

Budget and Economic Outlook and Updates

CBO regularly publishes projections of economic and budget outcomes which incorporate the assumption that current law regarding federal spending and revenues generally remains in place. Those baseline projections cover the 10-year period used in the Congressional budget process. Most of the reports on those projections also describe the differences between the current projections and previous ones; compare the economic forecast with those of other forecasters; and show the budgetary impact of some alternative policy assumptions. The budget projections and economic forecast are generally issued each January and updated in August; the budget projections are also generally updated each March.

Analysis of the President's Budget

CBO estimates the budgetary impact of the proposals in the President’s budget using the agency's own economic forecast and estimating assumptions. CBO’s independent "reestimate" of the President’s budget allows the Congress to compare the Administration's spending and revenue proposals with CBO’s baseline spending and revenue projections and with other proposals using a consistent set of economic and technical assumptions. CBO also usually analyzes the economic impact of the President’s budget (and the feedback effect of those economic changes on the budget)—recently in a separate report, but previously in the same report.

Budget Options

Periodically, CBO produces reference volumes examining options for reducing budget deficits. The volumes include a wide range of options, derived from many sources, for reducing spending and increasing revenues. (Occasionally, the volumes focus on specific areas of the budget, as do many of CBO’s other reports.) For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget and a discussion of its pros and cons but makes no recommendations.

Long-Term Budget Outlook

CBO provides the Congress with budget projections that go beyond the standard 10-year budget window. Those projections typically span 25 years but can extend as far as 75 years into the future. The projections show the impact of long-term demographic trends and rising health care costs on federal spending, revenues, and deficits. CBO also projects the economic impact of alternative long-term budget policies.

Long-Term Projections for Social Security

CBO publishes long-term projections for Social Security in the Long-Term Budget Outlook and then provides additional information on those projections in subsequent, separate reports.

Long-Term Implications of the Future Years Defense Program

In most years, the Department of Defense (DoD) provides a five-year plan, called the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), associated with the budget that it submits to the Congress. Because decisions made in the near term can have consequences for the defense budget well beyond that period, CBO regularly examines DoD’s FYDP and projects its budgetary impact roughly a decade beyond the period covered by the FYDP.

Analysis of the Navy’s Shipbuilding Plan

At the direction of the Congress, the Department of Defense generally issues annual reports that describe its plan for building new ships over the next 30 years. CBO examines these plans in detail and estimates the costs of proposed ship purchases using its own estimating methods and assumptions. CBO also analyzes how those ship purchases would affect the Navy’s inventories of various types of ships over the next three decades.

Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes

For households with different levels of income and in various demographic groups, CBO reports estimates of average federal tax rates (federal taxes divided by income), shares of total federal taxes paid, and related measures.

Economic Forecasting Record

CBO periodically evaluates the quality of its economic forecasts by comparing them with the economy’s actual performance and with forecasts by the Administration and the Blue Chip consensus—an average of about 50 private-sector forecasts. Such comparisons help to show the extent to which various factors have caused CBO to miss patterns and turning points in the economy.

Federal Receipts and Expenditures in the National Income and Product Accounts

CBO each year produces projections of the federal receipts and expenditures in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which are produced by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Review of Activities Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The federal government sometimes imposes requirements—known as mandates—on state, local, and tribal governments and entities in the private sector in order to achieve national goals. In 1995, lawmakers enacted the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) in part to ensure that the Congress receives information about the potential effects of mandates as it considers proposed legislation. To that end, UMRA requires CBO, at certain points in the legislative process, to assess the cost of mandates that would apply to state, local, and tribal governments and to the private sector. CBO prepares an annual review of its activities under UMRA.

Monthly Budget Review

Each month, CBO issues an analysis of federal spending and revenues for the previous month and the fiscal year to date. Those Monthly Budget Reviews, which are based on information from the Treasury Department, provide information on the monthly status of outlays, receipts, and the deficit or surplus.

Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations

CBO regularly prepares reports listing all programs and activities funded for the current fiscal year for which authorizations of appropriations have expired or will expire during the current fiscal year. CBO publishes three versions of the report each year with the items sorted in different ways to be more useful to different committees.

Troubled Asset Relief Program

The Congress established the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008 to stabilize financial markets. CBO regularly provides its estimate of the costs of the program and a comparison of that estimate to the preceding estimate from the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) requires CBO to comment on reports filed by recipients of ARRA funding about the number of jobs funded by ARRA. CBO’s reports provide the agency’s own estimates of the effects of ARRA on total output and jobs.

Sequestration

CBO is required to publish estimates of the caps on funding for discretionary programs for each fiscal year through 2021 and to report whether, according to those estimates, a sequestration (a cancellation of budgetary resources) would be required. However, the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget ultimately makes the determination of whether a sequestration is required based on its own estimates.

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