Budget Issues:

Deficit Reduction and the Long Term

T-AIMD-96-66: Published: Mar 13, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1996.

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GAO discussed its work on the budget deficit and long-term economic growth. GAO noted that: (1) its long-term simulations show that unless the budget deficit is reduced or eliminated, economic growth, personal incomes, national investment, and the standard of living will be sharply reduced; (2) the nation's present fiscal policy is unsustainable in the long term; (3) reaching and sustaining a balanced budget would reduce federal spending on interest, a fast-growing segment of federal spending; (4) reductions in spending on fast-growing health, social security, and interest costs would be most beneficial and would have the most sustained effects; and (5) foreign governments' deficit reduction efforts have been painful but have provided significant fiscal benefits.

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