Build Your Own Budget

A budget deal has eluded leaders for years now, and they might feel like they are out of options. But many budget task forces have laid out a broad outlines of a responsible deal, as well as a host of specific options that should be considered. Now, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has combined the most prominent options into one place.

This version represents an initial draft, contains broader range of options, and is intended for users with a firm grasp of potential budget options

The tool above is relatively comprehensive, including options from many areas of the budget. A simpler version, that only discusses areas commonly up for discussion (health, mandatory, and limited tax changes) is available here.

The tool provides options to find savings in health care and other mandatory programs, or show how revenue could be raised through tax reform and other taxes. The tool includes hundreds of savings options-- from the Fiscal Commission, Domenici-Rivlin Deficit Reduction Task Force, Obama-Boehner negotiations, Biden-Cantor negotiations, the Supercommittee, and others -- but highlights options that were recommended in the "Bipartisan Path Forward to Securing America' s Future" released by former Senator Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles this spring. While many of these estimates are rough, it should provide a useful guide for how lawmakers could achieve a bipartisan budget agreement.

More interactive tools

Use CRFB's other interactive tools to explore specific parts of the budget or reform proposals:

Want to secure the future of Social Security? Try the Reformer: An Interactive Tool to fix Social Security. "The Reformer" allows users to select a variety of revenue and benefit changes with the ultimate goal of closing the 75-year shortfall and making it sustainable for the future.

The U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rate in the world but much of that is lost through various tax preferences in the code. CRFB's Corporate Tax Reform Calculator allows users to reform the corporate code, broadening the base and lowering rates in a fiscally responsible way.
CRFB's Deficit Reduction Plan Comparison Tool provides side-by-side comparisons of the many deficit reduction plans that have been developed. This tool is a great way to track and compare all the comprehensive plans that have been proposed to shore up our nation's finances.
  Our 2010 tool, Stabilize the Debt: An Exercise in Hard Choices allows users to solve our budget problem and make the tough choices for themselves. Try and reduce the debt to 60 percent of GDP by 2021.