CBO Blog

  • CBO released a report today, written at the request of the House and Senate Budget Committees, on the current economic situation and options for fiscal stimulus to boost short-term aggregate demand. CBO will release more information about economic and budget conditions in its Budget and Economic Outlook on January 23.

    The report's key points are that:

  • CBO released a study today on consumers responses to the substantial upward trend in gasoline prices that began in 2003.

    Many drivers have responded to higher gasoline prices in the way that they drive, but overall the response has been very small.

  • Substantial interest has arisen recently regarding how much household income and workers' earnings bounce around from year to year, prompted in part by the work of Jacob Hacker at Yale University. This topic is important not only to understand potential sources of household anxiety, but also in designing social insurance systems and the tax code. In previous work released in 2007, CBO examined the volatility of workers' earnings.

  • CBO today released the January monthly budget review. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 (the first quarter of the 2008 fiscal year covers October through December 2007), the budget deficit was $107 billion -- about $27 billion more than in the same quarter last year. On January 23, CBO will release its Budget and Economic Outlook, which will provide updated estimates of the budget for fiscal year 2008 along with the next ten fiscal years.

  • After a brief break from blogging during the holidays, I will begin regular entries again today...

    This morning, our first Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow joins CBO. The RWJ fellowship program is sponsored by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and is extremely well-regarded in both health and policy circles. As part of our ongoing effort to augment our already exceptional internal resources on health care policy, we're excited about hosting an RWJ fellow.

  • CBO just released an interim report on the VA health system. VA's health care program has attracted lots of attention, and as part of CBO's ongoing effort to expand our health-related activities, we are examining the evidence on the VA system -- along with what lessons, if any, it may hold for other parts of the health care system.

  • As you can imagine, CBO prides itself on its analytical capabilities -- and its analysis is (justifiably, in my opinion!) widely respected. From time to time, though, criticisms of our analysis are raised. I won't respond to most of these criticisms, but in some cases, it may be worth examining the issues raised in a critique of CBO's analysis -- and that's what this post does.

  • As I mentioned in a previous post, corporate tax receipts have recently appeared relatively weak: in each of the past five months, payments of corporate receipts have experienced notable year-over-year declines. December may turn out to reverse that trend, however, and December is a relatively important month for corporate receipts.

  • CBO just released a report on comparative effectiveness research. Such research holds the potential to reduce health care costs over the long term -- possibly by substantial amounts if it is done rigorously and if its results are ultimately tied to changes in financial incentives for providers and consumers.

  • CBO has posted a score of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007....