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  • A Case for Adding a Long-Term Budget Constraint to the Congressional Budget Process

    The current federal budget process is broken. That judgment is approaching a consensus among informed observers, even though the bases for conclusion vary. Perhaps the most widely-held view is that the current process has failed to produce fiscal policies consistent with the fundamental objective of economic stability. This failing has both long-term and short-term aspects. First, the government is on a long-term trajectory to default. The government cannot keep all the promises it has made explicitly to creditors and implicitly to beneficiaries and taxpayers. As a matter of arithmetic, resources available to government under current policy are insufficient to meet all of its commitments. Claim holders in the future must receive less than government has encouraged them to expect.