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The Unsustainable Long-Term Budget Outlook

If current laws generally remain unchanged, Federal debt held by the public – which stands at 77 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] today – will surge to 113 percent of GDP in the next 20 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO]. By 2047, that debt is projected to reach 150 percent of GDP. This would be nearly four times the average level of the past 50 years (39 percent), and well above the country’s highest debt level seen shortly after World War II.

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The Challenges We Face

Deficits will nearly triple over the next decade, surging from $487 billion in fiscal year 2018 to $1.4 trillion in 2027, according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO]. As a share of economic output, deficits will grow to 5 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] in 2027. This pattern is due to excessive spending, not insufficient taxes.

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The Benefits of Pro-Growth Policies

Over the past seven years, real growth in gross domestic product [GDP] has averaged just 2.0 percent annually, well below the 3.0-percent historical trend rate in the U.S. Last year the economy grew by just 1.6 percent, the lowest annual growth rate in five years.

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The President's Budget in Context

The past three presidents all submitted preliminary fiscal blueprints sometime in February of their first year, and their fully fleshed-out budgets later. President Trump is following a similar pattern.

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Deficit Reduction Through Reconciliation

The real purpose of reconciliation is to change substantive law so that revenue and mandatory spending levels are brought into line with budget resolution policies.

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The Continuing Resolution

While a CR prevents a lapse in government operations, it denies Members the opportunity to thoroughly debate government spending and update funding priorities through amendments in the regular appropriations process.

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The Challenge of Balancing the Budget

As Congress turns to the fiscal year 2018 budget, the fiscal outlook suffers from a weak economy, mounting pressure on spending, and deeper projected deficits.

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What is a Budget Resolution?

The budget is a concurrent resolution – a solely congressional measure, agreed to by the House and Senate, that does not require the President’s signature to become the blueprint for fiscal policy.

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