CBO Study: Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2005 to 2014   [open pdf - 3MB]

"This volume describes the state of the budget and the economy. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that under current laws and policies, the federal government will incur a total budget deficit of $477 billion this year and $362 billion in 2005 (see Summary Table 1). Such a deficit for this year would set a record in dollar terms, but at 4.2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), it would represent a smaller share of the economy than the deficits of the mid-1980s and early 1990s. In the absence of further legislative changes, deficits would diminish after their peak in 2004, although outlays would continue to exceed revenues for most of the next 10 years. Deficits are projected to total $1.4 trillion for the five years after 2004 and $1.9 trillion for the 2005-2014 period. By statute, CBO's baseline projections must estimate the future paths of federal revenues and spending under current laws and policies. The baseline is therefore not intended to be a prediction of future budgetary outcomes; instead, it is meant to serve as a neutral benchmark that lawmakers can use to measure the effects of proposed changes to taxes and spending."

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