CBO periodically publishes a reference volume, often referred to as “Budget Options,” that includes dozens of policy options to reduce federal budget deficits. Those options are derived from a broad spectrum of sources and represent a range of ways to reduce spending or increase revenues. The options are illustrative, and CBO’s reports do not make recommendations. CBO also prepares analytic reports that examine specific federal programs, aspects of the tax code, and budgetary and economic challenges. Most of these reports present a set of options for changes in the programs or tax rules being examined. A list of some recent reports with options related to this topic is below. Visit CBO’s Reports with Policy Options page for a list of all recent reports with policy options.
ReportOctober 5, 2017
CBO presents new estimates of the budgetary effects of options for a premium support system for Medicare and examines the reasons for the changes in the estimates, including changes in law that have affected the Medicare program.
ReportDecember 8, 2016
CBO periodically issues a volume of options—this year’s installment presents 115—that would decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade. The report is available both as a PDF and in a searchable format.
ReportDecember 15, 2015
CBO analyzes 36 policy options commonly proposed by policymakers and analysts. Most of them would improve Social Security’s long-term finances, but only a few would significantly postpone the combined trust funds’ exhaustion date.
ReportJune 19, 2015
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that, over the next decade, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would probably increase budget deficits with or without considering the effects of macroeconomic feedback.
ReportJanuary 16, 2014
Between 2000 and 2012, the cost of providing health care to service members, retirees, and their families increased by 130 percent (after adjusting for inflation). What approaches might curtail the growth in those costs?
ReportDecember 5, 2013
This document is a reprint of Chapter 5 of CBO’s publication Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023 (November 2013).
ReportOctober 24, 2013
CBO’s new estimate of the net budgetary savings from adopting this policy is much lower than its earlier estimates for proposals to raise Medicare’s eligibility age. This report describes CBO’s new estimate and the reasons for the change.
ReportSeptember 18, 2013
CBO analyzes the ways two illustrative options for a premium support system for Medicare would affect federal spending and beneficiaries’ choices and payments.
Testimony on Using the Chained CPI to Index Social Security, Other Federal Programs, and the Tax Code for InflationApril 18, 2013
How does the chained consumer price index (CPI) differ from the traditional CPI and what would be the budgetary effects of using the chained CPI to make automatic adjustments in Social Security, other federal programs, and the tax code?
ReportNovember 14, 2012
For fiscal year 2013, the Department of Defense (DoD) requested about $150 billion to fund the pay and benefits of current and retired members of the military. That amount is more than one-quarter of DoD’s total base budget request.