GAO's Long-Term Simulations

Potential Fiscal Outcomes Under Alternative Simulation - Revenues and Composition of Spending as a Share of GDP

A simulation is a hypothetical—a “what if?” The long-term simulations produced by GAO’s model illustrate the potential budgetary implications of different policy choices. Each simulation represents a bundle of budgetary and policy assumptions carried far out into the future. The simulations are not intended as predictions about the future. Rather, they can facilitate comparisons of the potential differing long-term budgetary consequences of alternative fiscal policy paths. For example, the chart above shows the growing fiscal imbalance under one set of assumptions. Comparing long-term simulations with different assumptions can help bring a longer term perspective to bear on today’s decisions.

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