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CBO Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028

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vertical-line-blue-marble-40x300.pngThese are recommendations. They propose some of these each year. They do not mean the changes will be made, but they give you a good idea of their thinking.

Read Further: Military.com explains it in CBO Suggests Raising Tricare Fees, Cutting Veteran Benefits to Slash Deficit

Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028

CBO periodically issues a large number of options—this year’s installment presents 121—to decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues. The CBO’s website allows users to filter options by topic, date, and category.


Published Dec 13, 2018

PDF CBO Options for Reducing the Deficit- 2019 to 2028.pdf



Since 2007, federal debt held by the public has more than doubled in relation to the size of the economy, and it will keep growing significantly if the large annual budget deficits projected under current law come to pass. Congress faces various policy choices as it confronts the challenges posed by such a large and growing debt. To help inform lawmakers, the Congressional Budget Office periodically issues a compendium of policy options that would help reduce the deficit, reporting the estimated budgetary effects of those options and highlighting some arguments for and against cbo-options-for-reducing-the-deficit-2019-to-2028-published-dec-2018.pngthem.

This latest series report presents 121 options to decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next ten years (see Summary Table below). Of those options, 112 are presented in the main body of the report, and most of those 112 would save $10 billion or more over that period. The remaining nine options are presented in an appendix and would generally have smaller budgetary effects.

The options in this report come from various sources. Some are based on proposed legislation or the budget proposals of various Administrations; others come from Congressional offices or entities in the federal government or private sector. The options cover many areas—defense, health, Social Security, provisions of the tax code, and more. The budgetary effects identified for most options span the ten years from 2019 to 2028 (the period covered by CBO’s baseline budget projections), although many options would also have longer-term effects.

Chapters 2 through 4 present options in the following categories:

  • Chapter 2: Mandatory spending,
  • Chapter 3: Discretionary spending, and
  • Chapter 4: Revenues.

Each chapter begins with a description of budgetary trends for the topic area, a general discussion of the method underlying the estimates of budgetary effects, and an overview of the options in the chapter. Then, the chapter offers individual entries for each option that provide background information, describe the option, discuss the estimated budgetary effects, the basis of those estimates, and the largest sources of uncertainty, and summarize arguments for and against the change.

As a collection, the options are intended to reflect a range of possibilities, not a ranking of priorities or an exhaustive list. Including or excluding any particular option does not imply that CBO endorses or opposes it, and the report makes no recommendations. The report also does not contain comprehensive budget plans; it would be possible to devise such plans by combining certain options in various ways (although some would overlap and would interact with others).

CBO’s website includes a search tool that allows users to filter options by major budget category, budget function, topic, and date. That tool is regularly updated to include only the most recent version of budget options from various CBO reports. Therefore, the tool currently includes all the options in this report. It also includes options that were analyzed in the past and were not updated for this report but remain informative. Those options were either in previous editions of this report or in different CBO reports analyzing specific federal programs or aspects of the tax code.

Of interest to Veterans:

Narrow Eligibility for Veterans’ Disability Compensation by Excluding Certain Disabilities Unrelated to Military Duties 4 to 33 
End VA’s Individual Unemployability Payments to Disabled Veterans at the Full Retirement Age for Social Security 7 to 48 
Reduce VA’s Disability Benefits to Veterans Who Are Older Than the Full Retirement Age for Social Security 11 
Narrow Eligibility for VA’s Disability Compensation by Excluding Veterans With Low Disability Ratings 6 to 38
End Enrollment in VA Medical Care for Veterans in Priority Groups 7 and 8


Include Disability Payments From the Department of Veterans Affairs in Taxable Income 4 to 93 


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