Posts Tagged ‘CBO forecast’

Can’t Handle The Migraine From Reading The 165 Page CBO Report? Then Read This Nutshell Version.

February 4, 2012

This These New Times piece is simply excellent:

CBO Report: OMG!

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its annual report. It’s a blockbuster. This 165 page monster is filled with dozens of charts, graphs and detailed projections. It will be talked about for weeks. The report provides a dismal outlook for the economy. There is one data point I’d like to focus on.

Here is the CBO forecast for real GDP for 2012 and 2013:

The 1.1% Real GDP number for 2013 surprised me. The CBO’s expectations are way under those of both the “Blue Chip” economists and the Federal Reserve:

What does it mean if the economy is going to slow, as CBO now thinks? Some consequences:

The CBO now forecasts Social Security to run into trouble in just a few years. This is a very substantial change in the outlook for SS. Changed fortunes make it a certain that America’s favorite entitlement program will be on the table for a significant re-vamp.

The CBO has answered two critical question:

1) In what year does SS first goes into deficit (including interest)?

2) What is the size of the SS Trust Fund when #1 has been achieved?

Key data is here:

Using this information, we can estimate the Trust Funds (TF) balances over time, and compare them to what SS forecast in its report to Congress ten-months ago:

 
SSTF’s “Intermediate” (Base) case:
 

The bottom line is that the SSTF is going to top out three years ahead of “schedule” and be $800B shy of what it was “supposed” to be.

I think the CBO report has created a big headache for a good number of folks in D.C. Most of them are running for office this year. They certainly won’t be able to wave the CBO report as a measure of how well they are doing.

 

You can get an even more concise synopsis from my article here.