Projecting the path of federal government receipts and expenditures--and thus the unified budget
surplus or deficit--several years into the future is a daunting task.
The shift was also motivated by the political argument that an on-budget deficit constitutes a "raid" on Social Security, even though the trust fund receives Treasury securities equal to the Social Security surplus regardless of the condition of the unified budget
Exploiting unified budget
surpluses may make using general revenues for Social Security easier (and less transparent - after all, this particular solution requires no explicit action to increase tax rates or cut benefits), but doing so does not eliminate the system's prospective liabilities.
If Social Security were removed from the unified budget
and no other changes were made, the federal government's budget would have a deficit on the order of $25 billion to $45 billion for fiscal year 1998.
The relation between national defense outlays in the unified budget
and national defense purchases on the NIPA Basis.
Shoven, "Has the Unified Budget
Undermined the Federal Government Trust Funds?
Like most other Presbyterians, I bought into the theory of the unified budget
as both the best and most efficient way to support the mission of the church.
Between 1992 and 2000, in contrast, the unified budget
balance improved by 7 percent of GDP, from a deficit of 4.
In the end, the Congress resorted to mechanisms to make it seem as though the caps were adhered to and as though the unified budget
surplus would at least equal the surplus in the Social Security trust fund.
Rapidly developing receipts, along with continuing restraint on federal spending, produced the first unified budget
surplus in 30 years, and allowed the Treasury to begin to pay off the federal debt.
Recently released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections indicate that there will be unified budget
surpluses over each of the next 10 years.
The major exception is for national defense, for which the current services level of outlays is defined to be the same as the administration's unified budget