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Federal Spending – Fast Facts

All fast facts for Federal Spending are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). They do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Some simply provide historical context. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement. As always, verify and view statements in their full context as often as possible.

CBO’s baseline projections are heavily influenced by changes in tax and spending policies that are embodied in current law—changes that in some cases represent a significant departure from recent policies.  As a result, those baseline projections show much higher revenues and lower outlays than would occur if the lower tax rates now in effect were extended and if provisions constraining future spending were not implemented.   Click here to verify at Page xiii
Under the alternative fiscal scenario, budget deficits would total $10.7 trillion over the 2013–2022 period, and debt held by the public would rise to $23.0 trillion by 2022.    Deficits and debt under the President’s budget, though significantly larger than in CBO’s baseline, would be significantly smaller than the amounts projected in the alternative fiscal scenario.     Click here to verify at Page 8
To illustrate the budgetary consequences of maintaining some tax and spending policies that have recently been in effect, CBO developed projections under an “alternative fiscal scenario.”  That scenario incorporates the following assumptions:   

- Expiring (tax) provisions (other than the payroll tax reduction) are extended;

The AMT is indexed for inflation after 2011;

Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services are held constant at their current level (rather than dropping by 27 percent in March 2012 and more thereafter, as scheduled under current law); and

The automatic spending reductions required by the Budget Control Act, etc., do not take effect.  
Click here to verify at Pages xii-xiii


Together, the President’s proposed tax policies would reduce tax revenues and boost outlays for refundable tax credits by a total of about $3.5 trillion over the 2013–2022 period relative to the amounts projected in CBO’s baseline.

Automatic procedures specified by last year’s Budget Control Act are set to go into effect in January 2013 and reduce spending in subsequent years.  The President’s budget does not include those reductions, thereby boosting outlays relative to the current-law baseline by $1.0 trillion over the next 10 years.   Click here to verify at Pages 3-4

Under current law, Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services are slated to drop by 27 percent in January 2013 and by additional amounts in later years.  The President proposes to avoid those reductions by freezing payment rates at their 2012 level for the next 10 years.   That freeze would increase net outlays by $271 billion over the 2013–2022 period, CBO estimates.     Click here to verify at Page 14
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Voting Key


Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True