About The Document

At the request of the House and Senate Committees on the Budget, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) periodically issues a compendium of budget options to help inform federal lawmakers about the implications of possible policy choices. This volume presents more than 100 options for altering spending and revenues to reduce federal budget deficits.

The options discussed in this report come from a variety of sources, including legislative proposals, various Administrations’ budget proposals, Congressional staff, other government entities, and private groups. The options are intended to reflect a range of possibilities rather than to provide a ranking of priorities or a comprehensive list. The inclusion or exclusion of a particular policy change does not represent an endorsement or rejection by CBO. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, this report makes no recommendations.

This volume is the result of work by almost 150 people at CBO, whose names are listed below, as well as the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. Various experts outside of CBO (also listed) reviewed selected portions of the volume in draft. (The assistance of external reviewers implies no responsibility for the final product, which rests solely with CBO.)

The spending estimates that appear in this report were prepared by the staff of the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget Analysis Division (supervised by Peter Fontaine, Theresa Gullo, Holly Harvey, Tom Bradley, Kim Cawley, Jean Hearne, Jeffrey Holland, Sarah Jennings, and Sam Papenfuss); Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division (supervised by Linda Bilheimer, Jessica Banthin, James Baumgardner, Phil Ellis, and Joyce Manchester); and Financial Analysis Division (supervised by Damien Moore). Most of the revenue estimates were prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, although some were done by CBO’s Tax Analysis Division (supervised by David Weiner, Mark Booth, and Janet Holtzblatt) and Budget Analysis Division.

The discussions of the options were written and reviewed by analysts and managers throughout CBO: the four divisions just mentioned, the Microeconomic Studies Division (supervised by Joseph Kile and Chad Shirley), and the National Security Division (supervised by David Mosher and Matthew Goldberg).

Introduction

Leigh Angres of the Director’s Office, with assistance from Jeffrey Holland of the Budget Analysis Division, wrote the introduction.

Mandatory Spending Options

Sheila Dacey of the Budget Analysis Division coordinated work on the options for mandatory spending, with assistance from Sheila Campbell of the Microeconomic Studies Division, Matthew Goldberg of the National Security Division, Noah Meyerson (formerly of CBO) and Julie Topoleski of the Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division, and David Torregrosa of the Financial Analysis Division. Sheila Dacey also wrote the introduction to the chapter. The following analysts contributed to the budget options in the chapter:

  • Nabeel Alsalam
  • Elizabeth Bass
  • Sheila Dacey
  • Molly Dahl
  • Elizabeth Cove Delisle
  • Justin Falk
  • Kathleen FitzGerald
  • Heidi Golding
  • Kathleen Gramp
  • Justin Humphrey
  • Deborah Kalcevic
  • Wendy Kiska
  • Jeff LaFave
  • Jim Langley
  • Amber Marcellino
  • Noah Meyerson (formerly of CBO)
  • Carla Tighe Murray
  • Charles Pineles-Mark
  • David Rafferty
  • Mitchell Remy
  • Lara Robillard
  • Matthew Schmit
  • Michael Simpson
  • Emily Stern
  • Andrew Stocking
  • Aurora Swanson
  • Natalie Tawil
  • Julie Topoleski
  • David Torregrosa
  • Dwayne Wright

Discretionary Spending Options

Sunita D’Monte of the Budget Analysis Division coordinated work on the options for discretionary spending, with assistance from Sheila Campbell of the Microeconomic Studies Division, Ann Futrell of the Budget Analysis Division, and Matthew Goldberg of the National Security Division. Sunita D’Monte also wrote the introduction to the chapter. The following analysts contributed to the budget options in the chapter:

  • Adebayo Adedeji
  • Nabeel Alsalam
  • Christina Hawley Anthony
  • David Arthur
  • Perry Beider
  • J’nell Blanco
  • Marin Burnett
  • Sheila Campbell
  • Megan Carroll
  • Chad Chirico
  • Julia Christensen
  • Kent Christensen
  • Molly Dahl
  • Sunita D’Monte
  • Justin Falk
  • Heidi Golding
  • Mark Grabowicz
  • Raymond Hall
  • Daniel Hoople
  • Justin Humphrey
  • Bernard Kempinski
  • Eric Labs
  • Jeff LaFave
  • Frances Lussier (formerly of CBO)
  • William Ma
  • Susanne Mehlman
  • Julia Mitchell
  • David Newman
  • Vi Nguyen (formerly of CBO)
  • Sarah Puro
  • Dawn Sauter Regan
  • Aurora Swanson
  • Natalie Tawil
  • Santiago Vallinas
  • Martin von Gnechten
  • Philip Webre
  • Susan Willie

Revenue Options

Janet Holtzblatt of the Tax Analysis Division coordinated work on the options for revenues, with assistance from Sheila Campbell of the Microeconomic Studies Division, Noah Meyerson (formerly of CBO) of the Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division, and David Torregrosa of the Financial Analysis Division. Janet Holtzblatt also wrote the introduction to the chapter. The following people wrote the discussions of the options or, in a few cases, estimated the budgetary effects:

  • Christina Hawley Anthony
  • David Austin
  • Mark Booth
  • Paul Burnham
  • William Carrington
  • Sheila Dacey
  • Terry Dinan
  • Barbara Edwards
  • Justin Falk
  • Jennifer Gravelle
  • Pamela Greene
  • Ed Harris
  • Janet Holtzblatt
  • Wendy Kiska
  • Amber Marcellino
  • Robert McClelland
  • Noah Meyerson (formerly of CBO)
  • Shannon Mok
  • Nathan Musick
  • Larry Ozanne (formerly of CBO)
  • Kevin Perese
  • Charles Pineles-Mark
  • Mitchell Remy
  • Kurt Seibert
  • Joshua Shakin
  • Andrew Stocking
  • Logan Timmerhoff
  • David Torregrosa

Options Related to Health

Noelia Duchovny of the Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division coordinated work on the options relating to health, with assistance from Sheila Dacey and Sunita D’Monte of the Budget Analysis Division, Matthew Goldberg of the National Security Division, and Janet Holtzblatt of the Tax Analysis Division. Noelia Duchovny also wrote the introduction to the chapter. The following people contributed to the budget options in the chapter:

  • Jessica Banthin
  • James Baumgardner
  • Barry Blom
  • Kirstin Blom
  • Tom Bradley
  • Stephanie Cameron
  • Anna Cook
  • Sheila Dacey
  • Alexia Diorio
  • Noelia Duchovny
  • Phil Ellis
  • Ann Futrell
  • Heidi Golding
  • Stuart Hagen
  • Jean Hearne
  • Jeffrey Holland
  • Lori Housman
  • Paul Jacobs
  • Amber Marcellino
  • Paul Masi
  • Sarah Masi
  • Jamease Miles
  • Alexandra Minicozzi
  • Eamon Molloy
  • Carla Tighe Murray
  • Lyle Nelson
  • Andrea Noda
  • Allison Percy
  • Lara Robillard
  • Matthew Schmit
  • Joshua Shakin
  • Robert Stewart
  • Andrew Stocking
  • Logan Timmerhoff
  • Julie Topoleski
  • Sam Trachtman
  • Ellen Werble
  • Rebecca Yip

The Budgetary Implications of Eliminating a Cabinet Department

Perry Beider of the Microeconomic Studies Division wrote this chapter, with contributions and assistance from a number of people from various divisions and units—the Budget Analysis Division, the Microeconomic Studies Division, the National Security Division, and the Office of the General Counsel: Tom Bradley, Kim Cawley, Kent Christensen, Sunita D’Monte, Matthew Goldberg, Kathleen Gramp, Theresa Gullo, Raymond Hall, Mark Hadley, Justin Humphrey, Deborah Kalcevic, Chung Kim, David Mosher, Vi Nguyen (formerly of CBO), Sam Papenfuss, Santiago Vallinas, and Rebecca Verreau.

Additional Options

Ann Futrell of the Budget Analysis Division and Janet Holtzblatt of the Tax Analysis Division compiled this section. The following people contributed to the budget estimates in the appendix:

  • Tom Bradley
  • Megan Carroll
  • Kim Cawley
  • Chad Chirico
  • Kent Christensen
  • Sheila Dacey
  • Sunita D’Monte
  • Kathleen FitzGerald
  • Kathleen Gramp
  • Raymond Hall
  • Jean Hearne
  • Daniel Hoople
  • Justin Humphrey
  • Sarah Jennings
  • Jeff LaFave
  • Jim Langley
  • Susanne Mehlman
  • Julia Mitchell
  • Sam Papenfuss
  • Matthew Pickford
  • David Rafferty
  • Emily Stern
  • Aurora Swanson
  • Martin von Gnechten
  • Jason Wheelock
  • Susan Willie
  • Dwayne Wright

External Review of Selected Sections

  • Barry Anderson, National Governors Association
  • Robert Berenson, The Urban Institute
  • Leonard Burman, The Urban Institute
  • James Capretta, Ethics & Public Policy Center
  • Amitabh Chandra, Harvard University
  • Judith Feder, Georgetown University
  • Peter Hussey, RAND Corporation
  • Richard Kogan, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Steve McMillin, U.S. Policy Metrics
  • Robert Mechanic, Brandeis University
  • Robert Moffit, The Heritage Foundation
  • Edwin Park, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Cathy Schoen, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Vernon Smith, Health Management Associates

Editing and Publishing

The editing and publishing of the report were handled by CBO’s editing and publishing group, supervised by John Skeen, and the agency’s web team, supervised by Deborah Kilroe. Christine Bogusz, Christian Howlett, Kate Kelly, Loretta Lettner, Benjamin Plotinsky, and John Skeen edited the report. Maureen Costantino designed the cover and oversaw the production of the volume, with help from Jeanine Rees as well as from Allan Keaton and Rick Quatro. Robert Dean, Annette Kalicki, and Simone Thomas prepared the electronic versions of the report.

Notes

Unless otherwise indicated, all years referred to in this report regarding budgetary outlays and revenues are federal fiscal years, which run from October 1 to September 30.

The numbers in the text and tables are in nominal (current year) dollars. Those numbers may not add up to totals because of rounding.

The baseline budget projections discussed in this report are those published in Congressional Budget Office, Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023 (May 2013). Such projections over the longer term are those in Congressional Budget Office, The 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook (September 2013).

The estimates for the various options shown in this volume may differ from any previous or subsequent cost estimates for legislative proposals that resemble the options presented here.

The Affordable Care Act comprises the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the health care provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010; and, in the case of this report, the effects of subsequent related judicial decisions, statutory changes, and administrative actions.