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.
ReportDecember 22, 2017
This report describes the structure of the federal crop insurance program, the government’s role and costs, the benefits provided to various groups, and policy options that would decrease federal spending on the program.
ReportDecember 14, 2017
CBO reviews Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s program to transfer some of the credit risk of their guarantees to investors and analyzes two approaches for expanding those efforts.
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.
ReportSeptember 28, 2017
CBO analyzes options to reduce FHA’s exposure to risk from its program to guarantee single-family mortgages, including creating a larger role for private lenders and restricting the availability of FHA’s guarantees.
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.
Options to Improve the Financial Condition of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s Multiemployer ProgramAugust 2, 2016
The pensions of some 10 million people are insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s multiemployer program. CBO projects future claims on the program and losses to its beneficiaries and analyzes potential policy changes.
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.
ReportDecember 3, 2015
CBO reviews the federal government’s current role in the multifamily mortgage market and four broad approaches to modifying that role.
ReportSeptember 25, 2015
Since 1990, real spending for child nutrition programs more than doubled—to $20 billion in 2014. CBO expects that increases in food prices and demographic changes will cause spending to rise further in the future.
ReportSeptember 9, 2015
CBO describes federal housing assistance to low-income households and how it has changed since 2000, provides information about the households that receive assistance, and assesses options for altering that assistance.