CBO Blog

  • CBO has released a cost estimate of HR 5830, the FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008. We estimate that the legislation would cost about $2.7 billion over the 2008-2013 period, assuming future appropriations consistent with the provisions in the bill. The bulk of that -- about $1.7 billion -- would be needed for the estimated subsidy cost of insuring mortgages under a new FHA program. (Loan guarantees are scored in the federal budget at their estimated subsidy cost.)

  • CBO issued a study today examining possible future private investment in new nuclear power plants. The extent of such investment depends not only on possible charges for carbon dioxide (if the Congress adopts climate change legislation) but also on existing incentives provided for such plants in the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005.

  • CBO released a paper today on trends in individual income tax revenue. Such revenue has fluctuated significantly since the early 1990s, increasing by 85 percent between fiscal years 1994 and 2000, then declining by 21 percent between 2000 and 2003, and then increasing by 47 percent between 2003 and 2007.

  • Various media reports are incorrectly attributing to CBO a figure (that the average driver would save about $30 this summer) associated with a gas tax holiday. CBO has not published such a figure and the citations to CBO are inaccurate.

    This misattribution raises a larger point. CBO is a nonpartisan organization, and we are not in the business of scoring or evaluating campaign proposals. In some cases, CBO may have previously estimated or evaluated a proposal similar to one subsequently proposed in a campaignand those estimates generally are available on our website.

  • CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation have been working closely together to analyze a modified version of S. 334, the Healthy Americans Act. This morning Edward Kleinbard (the staff director of the JCT) and I sent the letter below to Senators Wyden and Bennett about the modified proposal.

  • CBO issued a letter today reviewing a new investment policy recently adopted by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). As part of its analysis, CBO reviewed the assumptions underlying PBGCs decision and assessed the revised policy's potential for affecting the corporation's ability to meet its obligation to retirees and for increasing costs to taxpayers.

  • I am testifying this morning before the Senate Finance Committee on the implications of a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions. The testimony is posted here.

  • CBO has released an updated report on the cyclically adjusted and standardized budget. The new report is a companion to the baseline budget projections published in CBOs March 2008 Analysis of the Presidents Budget.

  • Despite some suggestions in the press to the contrary, CBO has not yet issued a cost estimate for the FHA-related housing proposal that is under discussion in the House of Representatives. A bill sponsored by Mr. Frank was introduced late today and CBO is reviewing it. CBO will issue a cost estimate for the legislation soon after it is approved by the House Committee on Financial Services, and I will post a link to the cost estimate when we issue it.

  • Today, CBO released a new issue brief on increasing disparities in life expectancy. Here I provide a brief summary of the brief (yes, I recognize the irony in that phrasing):