CBO – Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending

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Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending

posted by Sheila Dacey on December 6, 2013

CBO recently published a report on Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023. That report is now available in a fully digital version, so users can search the options according to major budget category, budget function, and major program category. The report included 23 options for changing mandatory spending programs (apart from options primarily involving health); they are listed at the bottom of this post with estimates of their budgetary savings.

Trends in Mandatory Spending

Mandatory spending—which totaled about $2.0 trillion in 2013, or about 60 percent of federal outlays, CBO estimates—consists of all spending (other than interest on federal debt) that is not subject to annual appropriations. Lawmakers generally determine spending for mandatory programs by setting the programs’ parameters, such as eligibility rules and benefit formulas, rather than by appropriating specific amounts each year. Mandatory spending is net of offsetting receipts—certain fees and other charges that are recorded as negative budget authority and outlays. Continue reading “CBO – Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending”

CBO: Federal compensation cuts could save billions

CBO: Federal compensation cuts could save billions

Nov. 14, 2013 – 06:00AM   | By SEAN REILLY   |

The government could save about $280 billion during the next decade by paring the size of the federal workforce, spending less on federal pay raises and pensions, and adopting a more conservative inflation gauge to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for civilian retirees and other participants in federal benefits programs, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest rundown of deficit cutting options.

The update comes as a House-Senate conference committee looks at ways to avoid another round of sequester-related budget cuts next year as well as means for reducing future deficits over the long haul. Both congressional Republicans and the Obama administration, for example, have endorsed replacing the current consumer price index with the “chained CPI” to set COLAs for federal retirees, Social Security recipients and other federal program beneficiaries. By 2023, that shift would save about $162 billion, the CBO estimated.

Continue reading “CBO: Federal compensation cuts could save billions”

Deficit-reduction plans could impact federal workers, military and veterans

Deficit-reduction plans could impact federal workers, military and veterans

Federal workers, military personnel and veterans could take a hit under more than a dozen deficit-reduction options the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office detailed in a new report Wednesday.

The potential impacts range from reduced pensions and cost-of-living raises for federal employees to capped pay increases for military personnel and stricter eligibility requirements for veterans’ disability.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) talks to an aide during a conference on the budget. (Alex Wong/Getty).

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) talks to an aide during a conference on the budget. (Alex Wong/Getty)

The agency released its report shortly after a congressional conference committee held its second meeting to discuss budget matters and ways of avoiding another government shutdown like the one that occurred in October. The talks have yielded few signs of progress so far. Continue reading “Deficit-reduction plans could impact federal workers, military and veterans”

Government Could Save Billions By Reducing Federal Pay and Benefits

Government Could Save Billions By Reducing Federal Pay and Benefits

Some of the major proposals floated by lawmakers and the Obama administration to reduce the pay and retirement benefits of federal employees and service members would save the government at least $265 billion over the next decade, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

CBO detailed 103 policy options for decreasing government spending and increasing revenue over the next decade in a 305-page report released on Wednesday, including several that would affect the pay, benefits and size of the federal civilian and military workforce. The office does not make policy recommendations; it provides cost estimates of legislation and federal spending projections and analyses. The latest comprehensive report on options for reducing the deficit looks at possibilities for savings across a range of areas, including defense, health care, Social Security, taxes and veterans’ benefits, as well as federal employment.

Continue reading “Government Could Save Billions By Reducing Federal Pay and Benefits”

How Does the Compensation of Federal Employees Compare with That of Workers in the Private Sector?

How Does the Compensation of Federal Employees Compare with That of Workers in the Private Sector?

January 30, 2012

The federal government employs 2.3 million civilian workers, or 1.7 percent of the U.S. workforce, in over 700 occupations and spent about $200 billion in fiscal year 2011 to compensate them. Recently, concern about the federal budget and about equity between the public and private sectors has focused greater attention on the costs that the federal government incurs to compensate its employees.

Today CBO released a study—prepared at the request of the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee—that addresses the question:  How does the compensation of federal employees compare with that of workers in the private sector? Continue reading “How Does the Compensation of Federal Employees Compare with That of Workers in the Private Sector?”