Budget Options

CBO produces many reports that discuss options for changes in spending and taxes. For each Congress, CBO produces a report that brings together a wide range of options for reducing the deficit. The options are derived from many sources and, in keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective analysis without making recommendations, each option includes arguments for and against it.

  • Report December 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.

  • Report November 20, 2014

    CBO periodically issues a compendium of options—this installment presents 79—to inform lawmakers about the budgetary effects of ways to reduce the deficit. The report has both interactive and printable formats.

  • Report December 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?