>Perspectives on the Budget Surplus
>Alan J. Auerbach, William G. Gale
>NBER Working Paper No. W7837
>Issued in August 2000
>---- Abstract -----
>This paper provides alternative measures of federal budget surpluses
>over 10-year and long-term horizons. Official baseline budget
>forecasts are based on a series of statutory requirements that may
>be at variance with reasonable expectation. More plausible notions
>of current policy toward discretionary spending, taxes and
>retirement trust funds imply that surpluses over the next 10 years
>will be substantially smaller than the baseline forecasts indicate.
>Properly accounting for long-term imbalances in social security and
>the rest of the budget implies that, under plausible definitions of
>current policy, the federal government faces a long-term shortfall.