May 2019

  • In this report, CBO examines how FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program works, how it affects the federal budget, and how various policy approaches might reduce costs and risks to the government or to borrowers.

  • The American Association for Budget and Program Analysis presents the James L. Blum Award to people who have distinguished records of accomplishment in public budgeting. We are delighted that one of the recipients this year was Theresa Gullo.

  • CBO testifies before the House Budget Committee on the agency's recent work analyzing the key design components and considerations for establishing a single-payer health care system.

  • CBO mourns the passing of its founding Director, Alice M. Rivlin, who led the agency from 1975 to 1983. With vision, wisdom, and determination, she established CBO's structure and formulated procedures, standards, and goals that have guided it for more than four decades.

  • Under the President’s proposals, deficits would total $9.9 trillion over the 2020–2029 period, $1.5 trillion less than the deficits in CBO’s current-law baseline. Federal debt held by the public would increase from 78 percent of GDP in 2019 to 87 percent in 2029.

  • CBO estimates the added personnel requirements and costs of five kinds of military space organizations. DoD wants to create three, which could increase annual costs by $1 billion to $2 billion and require onetime startup costs of $2 billion to $5 billion.

  • The federal budget deficit was $531 billion for the first seven months of fiscal year 2019, CBO estimates, $145 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last year.

  • From 2010 through 2016, the Veterans Benefits Administration spent $65 billion on educational benefits for 1.6 million veterans, spouses and children, mostly for veterans’ tuition, fees, and housing. In 2016, VBA spent an average of $17,400 per beneficiary.

  • Overall, our baseline budget projections, which reflect the assumption that current laws generally remain in place, have changed little since January, when we released The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029. In our projections, federal debt continues to rise from its already high level because of persistently large budget deficits.

  • CBO projects a deficit of $896 billion for 2019—$1 billion less than the deficit it projected in January. Federal debt held by the public is projected to grow from 78 percent of gross domestic product in 2019 to 92 percent in 2029.