CBO – Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending

Congressional Budget Office

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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”

Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013

A Notice by the Social Security Administration on 10/30/2012

Under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), there will be a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2012. As a result of this increase, the following items will increase for 2013:

(1) The maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit amounts for 2013 under title XVI of the Act will be $710 for an eligible individual, $1,066 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $356 for an essential person;

(2) The special benefit amount under title VIII of the Act for certain World War II veterans will be $532.50 for 2013; Continue reading “Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013”

Fed groups blast possible fiscal cliff switch to less generous COLA formula

Fed groups blast possible fiscal cliff switch to less generous COLA formula

  • By Kellie Lunney ; December 18, 2012

Advocates for federal employees and retirees urged lawmakers Monday to oppose a switch to a less generous formula for determining cost-of-living adjustments as part of a fiscal cliff deal.

Moving to the chained CPI would be “unfair” and “reduce significantly earned retirement benefits,” according to a Dec. 17 letter from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association to members of Congress. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, both reportedly have offered proposals that include switching from the current formula to what’s known as the chained CPI to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments for federal retirees and Social Security recipients. Continue reading “Fed groups blast possible fiscal cliff switch to less generous COLA formula”

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