CBO’s pilot podcast series looks at the inner workings of CBO and its role in the legislative budget process. In this episode, the function and value of cost estimates are discussed.
Budget Concepts and Process
CBO has developed “rules of thumb” that show how changes in four key economic variables might affect revenues, outlays, and deficits. An interactive workbook allows users to see the budgetary effects of their own alternative scenarios.
What roles do cash and accrual measures play in the federal budget process? This report discusses the relative merits of those measures and explores the implications of expanding the use of accrual measures for decisionmaking purposes.
- ReportHow CBO Determines Whether to Classify an Activity as Governmental When Estimating Its Budgetary Effects
When the Congress considers legislation that would authorize a nonfederal entity to carry out certain duties, CBO must decide whether to treat the associated cash flows as federal transactions when estimating the bill’s budgetary effects.
Presentation by Wendy Edelberg, an Associate Director for Economic Analysis at CBO, at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
In this report, CBO provides background on the methods used to estimate the costs of antifraud legislation.
How can lawmakers address the imbalance between revenues and spending in the Highway Trust Fund? How does the unique budgetary classification of surface transportation programs limit the effectiveness of standard spending controls?
To show how transportation funding is handled in CBO's cost estimates, this slide deck provides a guide to the agency's 2012 estimate of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.
The budgetary costs shown for selected credit programs would be higher under fair-value accounting—an alternative to the current approach for measuring costs—because it more fully accounts for the cost of the risk the government takes on.