The federal government’s fiscal transactions are recorded in two major sets of accounts: The Budget of the United States Government (often called the federal budget), which is prepared by the Office of Management and Budget, and the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which are produced by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The federal budget is the framework generally used by executive branch agencies and the Congress; it is also the presentation of budgetary activity that is most often discussed in the press. The NIPAs, by contrast, are not intended to help the government plan or manage its activities. Instead, those accounts provide a general framework for describing the entire U.S. economy and show how the federal government fits into that framework.
Each year, the Congressional Budget Office publishes projections of federal revenues and outlays for the current fiscal year and the next 10 years. Those baseline budget projections reflect the standard structure for budgetary accounting. This report presents CBO’s revenue and outlay projections for 2022 to 2032 translated to the receipts and expenditures used in the NIPA framework.
Because of conceptual differences between the two sets of accounts, for the 2022–2032 period cumulative current receipts in the NIPAs exceed projected revenues in CBO’s baseline by about 5 percent, and current expenditures in the NIPAs exceed projected outlays in the baseline by about 4 percent. Negative net federal government saving (that is, current receipts minus current expenditures) is projected to shrink from $1.2 trillion in 2022 to $1.1 trillion in 2024 but then increase steadily, reaching $2.2 trillion in 2032. The deficits in CBO’s baseline budget projections are similar: They hover around $1.0 trillion in 2022 and 2023, before increasing to $2.3 trillion by 2032. Over the 2022–2032 period, negative net federal government saving, which totals $16.9 trillion, is projected to slightly exceed deficits, which total $16.8 trillion.