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CBO Head Douglas Elmendorf: Healthcare, Benefits Programs Driving Deficit

budgetBoth number of Americans who receive assistance from beneficiary programs and the increasing costs to provide healthcare services are two main drivers of the federal deficit, the Congressional Budget Office‘s director says.

According to Fierce Government, Douglas Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee Feb. 12 that if a series of phased-in cuts replaced cuts under sequestration and both have the same total decrease, they would still have the same beneficial impact on the deficit and debt.

Elmendorf also told the committee it is hard to see how the budget could be made more sustainable without changing either benefit programs or tax payments, Geoff Whiting writes.

In the future, Elmendorf said both medium- and long-term deficit reduction of tax increases and spending cuts must be weighed against short-term impact on economic output and job creation in the federal budget.

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