Budget — Federal

House “Dynamic Scoring” Rule Likely Will Mean More Tax Cuts — Not More Information

House Republicans have amended House rules to require the use of “dynamic scoring” for official cost estimates of tax reform and other major legislation. Under dynamic scoring, the official cost estimates would incorporate estimates of how legislation would affect the size of the U. S. economy and, in turn, federal revenues and spending.

Incoming Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has said this change is designed simply to generate more information on the impact of proposed policies. In reality, however, the House is asking CBO and JCT to provide less information, not more, and the new rule could facilitate congressional passage of tax cuts that are revenue-neutral only on paper.

Related: Brief: Why Budget and Tax Plans Shouldn’t Use Dynamic Scoring

 

Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Serious Risks

A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be a highly ill-advised way to address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems. It would threaten significant economic harm while raising a host of problems for the operation of Social Security and other vital federal functions.

 

CBPP’s Updated Projections Show Long-Term Budget Outlook Is Significantly Improved but Remains Challenging

No deficit or debt crisis looms, and the weak labor market remains the nation’s most immediate economic concern.  Policymakers should address the need both for immediate measures to strengthen the job market and for measures to reduce longer-term deficits, which should take effect when the economy has more fully recovered.

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Basics

The federal budget outlines the U.S. government’s spending plans for the coming fiscal year and how it plans to pay for that spending. The three biggest areas of federal spending in 2010 were defense and security, Social Security, and public health insurance programs, each of which made up roughly one-fifth of the budget. Roughly four-fifths of the revenue that the federal government collected to pay for these programs came from individuals, through income and payroll taxes.

Policy Basics:
- Where Do Our Tax Dollars Go?
- Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
- Deficits, Debt, and Interest
- Non-Defense Discretionary Programs

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The Center informs the debate over federal budget priorities by analyzing the President’s budget and major congressional proposals throughout the annual budget process. We pay particular attention to the adequacy of funding for programs that assist low- and moderate-income families. We also analyze long-term budget challenges and measures to address them. In addition, we promote measures to improve fiscal responsibility.

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