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Perspectives on the Budget Surplus

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  • Auerbach, Alan J.
  • Gale, William G.

Abstract

This paper provides alternative measures of federal budget surpluses over 10-year and long-term horizons. Official baseline budget forecasts are based on a series of statutory requirements that may be at variance with reasonable expectation. More plausible notions of current policy toward discretionary spending, taxes, and retirement trust funds imply that surpluses over the next 10 years will be substantially smaller than the baseline forecasts indicate. Properly accounting for long-term imbalances in social security and the rest of the budget implies that, under plausible definitions of current policy, the federal government faces a long-term shortfall.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
Issue (Month): n. 3 (September)
Pages: 459-72

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:53:y:2000:i:n._3:p:459-72

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  1. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 1999. "Uncertainty and the Design of Long-Run Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Gale, William G. & Potter, Samara R., 2002. "An Economic Evaluation of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 1), pages 133-186, March.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: An Empirical Assessment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 1-100.
  3. Easterly, william, 2001. "Growth implosions, debt explosions, and my Aunt Marilyn : do growth slowdowns cause public debt crises?," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 2531, The World Bank.
  4. Michael J. Fleming, 2001. "Financial market implications of the federal debt paydown," Staff Reports, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 120, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Jeffrey B. Liebman & David W. Wilcox, 2001. "Fiscal Policy and Social Security Policy During the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 8488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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