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Efforts to Reduce the Budget Deficit - Research Paper Example

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Achievement of these projections is highly reliant on the momentous increase in taxes and decrease in spending. For this to happen, the lawmakers would be expected to alter the current policies which seem to encourage spending without a requisite growth in taxes. In this case, the lawmakers play a primal role as maintaining these policies would thwart the highlighted changes (Masters, 2012). This would mean that average annual deficits would be around 5 percent of the GDP for the next ten years. In the same period, public debt would rise to 90 percent of the GDP and would steadily rise thereafter. Long-term budget projections show that United States is at the risk of insolvency over the subsequent decades under the present tax and entitlement regime. To avert this risk, there is an immediate need for legislative action which has been historically relied upon to curb growing deficits and ensure balanced economic growth (Congressional Budget Office, 2012). This study looks at Congressional efforts from 1985 examining initiatives focused on addressing spending and revenues. Between 1985 and 2012, a number of budget controls were enacted to reduce the budget deficit. The most notable of these controls were the Balanced Budget, Emergency Deficit and the Budget Control Act. The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, also known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act it came up with statutory deficit limits and a statutory mechanism to enforce the limits. At the time, Congress was

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using the congressional budget resolution as a means of setting and enforcing desired spending and revenue levels, the statutory deficit targets were created to address two limitations of the budget resolution. First, although a budget resolution can act as a procedural limit on the enactment of new spending and revenue legislation, the new statutory deficit limits sought to limit not just new legislation, but also the effects of the enacted revenue and spending laws (Federation of American Scientists, 2011). Second, while the levels in the budget decree are imposed by points of order on the House or Senate floor, the deficit targets were enforced by a mechanism that would require the President to order automatic spending cuts if deficit limits were breached. The Act was enacted following concerns of a growing deficit, in 1982, the deficit was $128 billion representing 4% of GDP, in 1983 it grew to $208 billion or 6% of GDP and in 1985 it was $212 billion or 5.1% of GDP. The Act came up with a requirement for the gradual reduction and elimination of budget deficits over a six year period by enumerating annual deficit limits (Federation of American Scientists, 2011). The Act required cancellation of spending by executive order which was to be even between defense and non-defense spending. The next Act was the 1987 Reaffirmation Act which rectified the problem left by the invalidated sequestration mechanism established by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act (IRS, 2013). In extension, the Act extended by two years the timeframe established in the 1985 act to achieve a balanced budget, moving it from 1991 to 1993 and adjusting the deficit targets accordingly. The next move by Congress was enacting the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 (BEA) which came as a result of emerging concerns

Summary

Efforts to Reduce the Budget Deficit Name: Institution: A report released by the Congressional Budget Office in November 2012 indicated that the Federal debt held by the public exceeded 70 percent of the GDP which is the highest since 1950. In 1950, the public debt had risen as a result of the country’s involvement in the WWII (Congressional Budget Office, 2012)…
Efforts to Reduce the Budget Deficit
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