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Facing the Music: The Fiscal Outlook at the End of the Bush Administration

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): William G. Gale; Jason Furman; Alan J. Auerbach

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Government (Public finance)

Keywords: Taxes, the Budget, and the Economy; Budget Issues; General Tax Policy; Fiscal future

Type: Report


With the economy rocked by mortgage defaults, illiquidity in financial markets, a falling dollar, and declining consumer confidence, fiscal matters have been placed on the back burner to some extent by policy makers and commentators. However, the fiscal problems facing the country not only won't go away by themselves, but are actively getting worse with the passage of time and continuing inaction. This paper discusses the most recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline projection, and uses it to examine the causes of the fiscal decline since 2000 and the medium- and longer-term fiscal outlook . The full paper is available on the Brookings web site at