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The structure of the budget process can help ensure that budget decision makers are presented with the information and choices for timely and informed decisionmaking. GAO's long-term budget simulations show that, absent substantive entitlement reform and/or dramatic changes in tax and spending policies, we will face large, escalating, and persistent deficits. A budget process incorporating new metrics and mechanisms that better signal the long-term commitments and promises made by the government will help concentrate decision makers' efforts on long-term sustainability.

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