In an earlier posting, CBO Projections: The 2023 Budget, we provided Congressional Budget Office (CBO) documents which discuss, from a budgetary perspective, their analysis and projections of what the federal budget and economy would look like over the next 20 years, if current laws generally remain unchanged. In this posting we focus primarily on material provided by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide more general dimension to this discussion. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 formed the then named General Accounting Office to investigate all matters related to the use of public funds. The Act also required GAO to report its findings to Congress and recommend ways to increase economy and efficiency in government spending. It is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress.
Both the GAO and the CBO are partners in supporting Congress in its effort to ensure accountability to the American people. While both can be involved in the development and analysis of federal and defense budgets, sometimes collaborating in these initiatives, the GAO is also responsible for monitoring expenditures, including excessive spending, and issuing legal decisions on matters such as those related to disputes involving the awarding of government contracts, and has the power to investigate activities of the executive branch, although its enforcement powers are considered negligible.
Regarding The State of the Economy of the United States: As Viewed by GAO and CBO, there are indications from the various federal agencies reporting on these matters that over the long term the nation’s fiscal health may be in peril if current fiscal policies remain unchanged..