Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2017 – 2026

The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the challenges posed by the amount of federal debt held by the public—which has more than doubled relative to the size of the economy since 2007—and the prospect of continued growth in that debt over the coming decades if the large annual budget deficits projected under current law come to pass (see Figure 1-1). To help inform lawmakers, the Congressional Budget Office periodically issues a compendium of policy options that would help to reduce the deficit.1 This edition reports the estimated budgetary effects of various options and highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of those options.

This volume presents 115 options that would decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade (see Table 1-1 on page 6). The options included in this volume come from various sources. Some are based on proposed legislation or on the budget proposals of various Administrations; others come from Congressional offices or from entities in the federal government or in the private sector.

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