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.
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.
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 6, 2015
The federal program that provides insurance against the risk of terrorism expired at the end of 2014. CBO has examined various options for the program and their likely effects on the private sector and on the federal government.
ReportNovember 17, 2014
The federal government influences innovation through two broad channels: spending and tax policies, and the legal and regulatory systems. Policymakers have a number of options for spurring additional innovation.
ReportFebruary 18, 2014
Raising the minimum wage would increase family income for many low-wage workers, moving some of them out of poverty. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated and the income of those workers would fall substantially.
ReportDecember 20, 2013
Federal debt is projected to rise significantly over the long term. What policy changes could reduce future deficits and thus lower the trajectory of federal debt? What criteria might be used to evaluate those policy changes?
ReportDecember 19, 2013
A carbon tax or cap-and-trade program could make emission-intensive U.S. products less competitive and increase emissions overseas. Import tariffs related to emissions could reduce those effects but would be hard to implement.
ReportMay 1, 2013
CBO examined three options for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use principal forgiveness for certain underwater borrowers. How would those options affect the number of mortgage defaults, the federal budget, and the overall economy?
ReportNovember 28, 2012
Between 2007 and 2010, unemployment benefits expanded nearly five-fold owing to high unemployment due to the weak economy, and decisions by policymakers to increase the number of weeks for which unemployed workers could receive benefits.
ReportNovember 8, 2012
Are fiscal rules a useful tool for achieving budgetary goals? View the appendix of this report to learn more.