Under current law, on December 9, federal debt will be at the statutory limit and the Treasury will need to use “extraordinary measures” to continue to raise cash. Those measures would probably be exhausted in late March or early April.
In the baseline projections CBO has issued each spring, projected outlays have generally been close to actual amounts, although they have been too high, on average—a consequence of the agency’s economic forecasts and other factors.
On the basis of estimates prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, CBO reports a distributional analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act excluding the effects of eliminating the individual mandate penalty.
CBO has analyzed the distributional effects of changes in spending under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as of November 15, 2017, related to eliminating the penalty associated with the requirement that most people obtain health insurance coverage.
CBO and the JCT estimate that, by itself, repealing the mandate would reduce federal deficits by about $338 billion over the 2018–2027 period and increase the number of uninsured people by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that repealing that mandate starting in 2019 would reduce federal budget deficits by $338 billion between 2018 and 2027 relative to CBO’s most recent baseline.
In fiscal year 2017, the budget deficit totaled $666 billion—$80 billion more than the shortfall recorded in 2016. Measured as a share of GDP, the deficit increased to 3.5 percent in 2017, up from 3.2 percent in 2016 and 2.4 percent in 2015.