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Fiscal and generational imbalances: new budget measures for new budget priorities

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  • Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Kent Smetters

Abstract

This paper describes the deficiencies of the measures used to calculate the federal budget, make revenue and spending projections, and assess the sustainability of current fiscal policies. The nature of the deficiencies hides the tremendous impact that Social Security and Medicare commitments will have on the budget in the future, given the way the programs are structured currently and the momentous demographic shift underway as the baby boom generation approaches retirement age. This paper proposes two new simple measures that will enable government officials and the public to calculate more accurately the costs of maintaining these programs into the relevant future. The measures provide a better understanding of the costs involved, when they will be incurred, and by whom.

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File URL: http://www.clevelandfed.org/Research/PolicyDis/no5dec03.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its journal Policy Discussion Papers.

Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): Dec ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcpd:y:2003:i:dec:n:5

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Keywords: Budget ; Fiscal policy;

References

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  1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2001. "Generational Policy," NBER Working Papers 8163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Julie Lee & Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1999. "The Distributional Effects of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 6910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
  4. Kent Smetters, 2003. "Is the Social Security Trust Fund Worth Anything?," NBER Working Papers 9845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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