Introduction

The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the dramatic increase in the federal government’s debt over the past several years and the prospect of large annual budget deficits and further increases in that debt that are projected to occur in coming decades under current law (see Figure 1-1, below). To help inform lawmakers about the budgetary implications of various approaches to changing federal policies, CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options that would affect the federal budget as well as separate reports that include policy options in particular areas.