Budget Options

Reports on Budget Options

To help inform lawmakers about the budgetary implications of various approaches to altering federal policies, CBO periodically issues a volume of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. The options, which are accessible from this page, are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO. This search is updated regularly to include only the most recent version of a particular option.

Title Latest Estimate 10-Year Savings (Billions)
Increase the Corporate Income Tax Rate by 1 Percentage Point $129
Repeal the “Last In, First Out” Approach to Inventory Identification and the “Lower of Cost or Market” and “Subnormal Goods” Methods of Inventory Valuation $90
Require Half of Advertising Expenses to Be Amortized Over 5 or 10 Years $76, $154
Repeal the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit $77
Increase All Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages to $16 per Proof Gallon and Index Them for Inflation $92, $114
Increase Excise Taxes on Tobacco Products $42
Increase Excise Taxes on Motor Fuels and Index Them for Inflation $240
Impose a Tax on Financial Transactions $264
Increase Certain Fees Charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Customs and Border Protection by 20 Percent $5, $5, $11
Increase Federal Civilian Employees’ Contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System $44
Reduce Tax Subsidies for Employment-Based Health Insurance $500, $651, $893
Increase the Maximum Taxable Earnings That Are Subject to Social Security Payroll Taxes $670, $1204
Increase Individual Income Tax Rates $502, $774, $1081, $1329
Eliminate or Limit Itemized Deductions $541, $1143, $1356, $2507
Impose a New Payroll Tax $1136, $2253
Impose a Tax on Consumption $1950, $3050
Impose a Tax on Emissions of Greenhouse Gases $571, $769, $865
Raise the Tax Rates on Long-Term Capital Gains and Qualified Dividends by 2 Percentage Points $102
Eliminate or Modify Head-of-Household Filing Status $71, $192
Limit the Deduction for Charitable Giving $257, $272
Change the Tax Treatment of Capital Gains From Sales of Inherited Assets $156
Eliminate the Tax Exemption for New Qualified Private Activity Bonds $35
Expand the Base of the Net Investment Income Tax to Include the Income of Active Participants in S Corporations and Limited Partnerships $249
Tax Carried Interest as Ordinary Income $12
Include VA's Disability Payments in Taxable Income $161
Further Limit Annual Contributions to Retirement Plans $152
Eliminate Certain Tax Preferences for Education Expenses $128
Lower the Investment Income Limit for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Extend That Limit to the Refundable Portion of the Child Tax Credit $12
Require People Who Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit to Have a Social Security Number That Is Valid for Employment $25
Expand Social Security to Include Newly Hired State and Local Government Employees $132
Tax Social Security and Railroad Retirement Benefits in the Same Way That Distributions From Defined Benefit Pensions Are Taxed $459
Increase the Payroll Tax Rate for Medicare Hospital Insurance $878, $1736
Increase the Payroll Tax Rate for Social Security $712, $1406
Impose an Excise Tax on Overland Freight Transport $351
Include Employer-Paid Premiums for Income Replacement Insurance in Employees’ Taxable Income $342
Tax All Pass-Through Business Owners Under SECA and Impose a Material Participation Standard $163
Increase Taxes That Finance the Federal Share of the Unemployment Insurance System $18
Repeal Certain Tax Preferences for Energy and Natural Resource–Based Industries $2, $6, $8
Impose Fees to Cover the Costs of Government Regulations and Charge for Services Provided to the Private Sector $0, $1, $2, $9, $14
Impose a Fee on Large Financial Institutions $90, $103
Tax Gains from Derivatives as Ordinary Income on a Mark-to-Market Basis $19