Budget Options

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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.

A Budget Options search allows users to search for options by major budget category, budget function, topic, and date. The online search is updated regularly to include only the most recent version of budget options from various CBO reports.

  • Report

    Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2017 to 2026

    December 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.

  • Report

    Social Security Policy Options, 2015

    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

    Choices for Deficit Reduction: An Update

    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?