Summary of Estimates
The proposal, A Roadmap for America’s Future, was prepared by the Republican staff of the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives in consultation with the Congressional Budget Office [CBO], the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of the Treasury.
The proposal started with CBO’s long-term budget projections – published in The Long-Term Budget Outlook in June 2009 – and used CBO’s “Alternative Fiscal Scenario” for a comparison of what occurs under current budget policies. It is called an “alternative” scenario because it differs from CBO’s customary “baseline,” which projects spending, revenues, and deficits based on existing law and including any changes in law scheduled to occur (such as the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief provisions. Nevertheless, the “alternative” scenario hews more closely expected budgetary actions. CBO describes this scenario as “one interpretation of what it would mean to continue today’s underlying fiscal policy,” and explains: “This scenario deviates from CBO’s baseline even during the next 10 years because it incorporates some policy changes that are widely expected to occur and that policymakers have regularly made in the past.”
A Roadmap for America’s Future overlays its spending and revenue assumptions onto this fiscal scenario to estimate primary spending, interest, deficits or surpluses, and debt held by the public over the next 75 years. The long-term estimates are all made by CBO as percentages of gross domestic product [GDP]. (See Table A II-1 on the next page.)
Although more detailed programmatic assumptions may be found elsewhere in this report, the following general assumptions are used in deriving estimates used by A Roadmap for America’s Future.
▫ The economic assumptions are from CBO’s long-term projections.
▫ “Other spending” is estimated to grow above inflation as measured by the consumer price index, but is not estimated to grow as a fixed percent of GDP.
▫ Medicaid spending is estimated to grow at a prescribed average of the rate of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers [CPI-U] and the Consumer Price Index for Medical Care [CPI-M], in addition to an upward adjustment equivalent to the growth in population. It is not estimated to grow as a fixed percent of GDP.
▫ Interest and debt estimates are derived by the Congressional Budget Office.
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