U.S. Budget Watch is a historical project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which provided analysis around the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. This site is not regularly updated.

Policy Paper

GOP Presidential Candidate Plan Comparison Tool

U.S. Budget Watch has published a qualitative Presidential Candidate Plan Comparison Tool for the last four Republican presidential candidates and their various proposals with fiscal impacts, including long-term proposals for revenues, regulations, Social Security, health care, other spending, and budget processes.

Newly Updated Charts Comparing Health Care Reform Bills

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With new legislation recently released and estimated in the Senate, US BudgetWatch has updated the health care comparison charts and graphs. In this version, we compare, on a number of metrics, the bill being considered in the Senate to the legislation which recently passed the House.

Click here to download the previous version of these charts, which compared the (now-passed) plan put forward by the House Democrats to the House Republican plan and the Senate Finance Committee legislation.

Evaluating Health Care Plans

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Building on Comparing Health Care Plans, this paper goes beyond simply describing the Senate HELP bill, the House Tri-Committee bill, and the amended Senate Finance bill to offer detailed analysis on their key costs, deficit impacts, and long-term fiscal implications.

Comparing Health Care Plans: A Guide to Reform Proposals

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While there is broad agreement that health reform is necessary, there is little consensus on what changes are needed. To help the public understand the health care reform debate, this paper focuses on the ten-year costs and savings under the major provisions of the Senate HELP Committee bill, the Finance Committee bill, and the House Tri-Committee bill.  

UPDATE: See the latest cost and savings estimates of the amended Finance bill here.

The Cost of "Current Policy"

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The CBO recently projected a ten-year deficit of $7.1 trillion using a "current law" baseline. But these numbers may prove to be optimistic. CRFB argues that  four major assumptions in the baseline are unlikely to materialize, leading to a ten-year deficit of $12.6 trillion. This paper discusses US Budget Watch's own "current policy" baseline, which assumes particular policies do not conform to current law.

Options to Pay for Health Care Reform

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One of President Obama’s central campaign promises was to reform the national health care system. Existing plans to do so, however, are likely to cost between $1 trillion and $2 trillion over the next decade.  In "Options to Pay for Health Care Reform," US Budget Watch offers over 60 tax and spending options which could help pay for the costs of health care reform.

Comparing the FY2010 Budget Resolutions

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 Last week, the Budget Committees in both the House and Senate reported out their respective versions of the Budget Resolution, to be considered on the House and Senate floors.  While each resolution would result in smaller deficit than would the President’s Budget, as estimated by the CBO, we worry that both resolutions contain a number of assumptions that may be difficult to achieve.

More on the President's FY 2010 Budget Blueprint

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Although CRFB commends the President for having a specific fiscal goal and for honestly budgeting for expected costs, several items and trends in the budget are troubling. This paper focuses on three main issues: a more aggressive deficit goal would be appropriate; introducing new spending programs and tax cuts before finding ways to close the fiscal gap threatens the principle that Congress set forth to fully offset all new initiatives; and the budget largely fails to address the long-term.


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