Budget Issues:

GDP Analysis Broadens Budget Debate

AIMD-94-41: Published: Apr 27, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on using the concept of gross domestic product (GDP) budgeting and international comparisons to broaden the national budgeting debate.

GAO found that: (1) the United States can broaden the budget debate and improve its fiscal priorities by examining U.S. economic data in the GDP budgeting context and using international comparisons; (2) national goals in a mixed economy are achieved through federal tax or spending programs and other policy actions including regulation and the actions of state, local, and private sectors; (3) federal policy decisions affect the behavior of individuals, private entities, and state and local governments; (4) considering all sectors of the economy when developing federal taxing and spending policies could help budget decisionmakers better achieve desired economic outcomes; and (5) although international comparisons can improve policy decisionmaking, international data are not always available and socioeconomic or demographic factors cannot be easily compared and do not necessarily reflect actual outcomes.

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