Category Archives: Fiscal Outlook and The Debt

Getting in Fiscal Shape — How Changing Future Spending and Revenue Could Improve Government Finances (interactive graphic)

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic turmoil and resulted in unprecedented federal spending to address the public health and economic crisis. However, even before the pandemic, the federal government was on an unsustainable fiscal path caused by an imbalance in … Continue reading

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The Nation’s Fiscal Health: A Warning about the Government’s Finances

Without a change in law or policy, the gap between the amount of money the federal government collects and the amount it spends will continue to grow, likely reaching $1 trillion in the next few years. We issued our third … Continue reading

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The Nation’s Precarious Fiscal Future

The United States faces a highly challenging fiscal future. Absent change in policy, the federal fiscal path is unsustainable—debt is growing faster than the economy (GDP). This springs from the continuing gap between the amount of money the federal government … Continue reading

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State and Local Governments’ Fiscal Future

Our projections for the fiscal future of state and local governments were updated today and it shows, unless changes are made, those governments will face a gap between spending and revenue over the next 46 years. For over a decade, … Continue reading

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IRS: Taxpayer Tips Can Turn Into Cash

The Internal Revenue Service helps keep the federal government funded by enforcing tax laws and working to ensure that everybody pays their share. Nevertheless, every year some taxpayers—intentionally or inadvertently—overstate deductions, understate income, and don’t pay what they owe. The … Continue reading

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GAO Insights into the Nation’s Finances and the Role of the Debt Limit

Today, U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro delivered testimony to Congress on our nation’s unsustainable long-term fiscal position. He said that the Congress and administration face serious economic, security, and social challenges that will require difficult policy choices in the short … Continue reading

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A Check-Up on the Government’s Fiscal Health

After 6 years of declining deficits, the federal deficit increased to $587 billion in 2016 and U.S. debt held by the public stood at about $14.2 trillion at the end of 2016. These figures are only expected to grow. The … Continue reading

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National Save for Retirement Week

The U.S. population is changing and so is retirement. Boomers are aging, traditional pensions are shifting to voluntary contribution plans, and Social Security faces important financial challenges. Planning—and saving—for retirement is more important than ever. For National Save for Retirement … Continue reading

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Will “Hamilton” Win Big? Its Namesake Already Inspired a Lot of GAO Work

Alexander Hamilton has quite the legacy: he was the first Secretary of the Treasury; he created a plan for managing the national debt; and he is now the inspiration behind the Tony Award-nominated musical, Hamilton. In anticipation of this Sunday’s … Continue reading

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Auditing the Government’s Books

Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial information so they can make difficult budget choices and deal with the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Each year, we audit the governmentwide financial statements to help make sure good information … Continue reading

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