CBO Blog

  • CBO released a report today on the deductibility of state and local taxes on federal income tax returns, which provides an indirect federal subsidy to the state and local governments that levy deductible taxes. The state and local tax deduction reduced federal revenues by an estimated $50 billion in fiscal year 2007.

  • CBO released a new study today on regional variation in health care costs. As previous CBO documents have emphasized (and I walk around with a chart about it!), health care spending varies substantially across the nation.

  • CBO released a new macroeconomic forecast today, in advance of a new set of budget baseline projections we will release in conjunction with our analysis of the President's budget. (We have occasionally issued these types of revisions before but they are relatively uncommon.) The revision is motivated by three recent developments: new data about the weakness of the economy, actions by the Federal Reserve, and the stimulus package passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President.

  • CBO released a new report today on policy options for reducing carbon emissions.

    Global climate change represents one of the nation's most serious long-term problems. Rising concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are gradually warming the Earths climate, and some risk exists that the buildup of those gases could trigger abrupt changes and extreme damage. Substantially reducing emissions of those gases, however, could impose significant costs on the U.S. and global economies.

  • Today CBO released a new study analyzing the increases in funding for military activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the war on terrorism over the past several years.

  • Among some parts of the health policy community, CBO appears to have acquired an undeserved (and unfortunate!) reputation for failing to incorporate offsetting savings into our cost estimates. Since I hear about this issue so frequently, I thought it would be worthwhile to do a brief post about it.

  • CBO released its monthly budget review this afternoon. The deficit for the first four months of fiscal year 2008 was $90 billion -- almost $50 billion higher than during the same period last year, although about a third of that increase was due to timing shifts. Corporate tax receipts were down about 10 percent, and have declined in each of the past seven months on a year-over-year basis.

  • This morning, CBO released a new report, Technological Change and the Growth of Health Care Spending. I am testifying before the Senate Budget Committee on the new report and on our long-term health projections, which we released in November. The report on technological change was authored by Colin Baker of our Health and Human Resources Division.

  • Yesterday I gave a talk on health care cost containment at a forum sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform, and spoke specifically about issues in the design of Medicare and Medicaid demonstrations and waivers. Some have misinterpreted my comments as a criticism of the level of cooperation between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Congressional Budget Office. Nothing could be further from the truth: we enjoy and benefit from a great working relationship with CMS.

  • CBO released its budget and economic outlook this morning, and the House Budget Committee held a hearing on the topic. I am pasting below the notes for my oral remarks at that hearing. (For video of the hearing, click webcast.) The outlook report is put together by a large team of analysts and editors at CBO. It is deeply impressive to see how well the team works together in producing a document of this complexity!