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Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office’s stated mission is to “provide the Congress with the objective, timely, nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions.” Its director is appointed jointly by the majority leaders of the House and Senate.

Visitors can search the CBO’s various and respected cost estimates of policy proposals, and they can also find the office’s publications sorted by subject area, document type and those most recently published. The Monthly Budget Review gives figures on rates of federal spending, and the Current Budget Projections and Current Economic Projections give CBO’s take on where federal spending and the U.S. economy are headed. Some CBO studies provide information available nowhere else, such as tabulations of effective tax rates and the share of taxes paid by people at various income levels.

Comments: The CBO has a long history of professionalism and nonpartisan analysis, regardless of which party controls Congress. Its assumptions and projections often differ from those of the president’s Office of Management and Budget, and they provide a “second opinion” on such things as what proposed new legislation is likely to cost or how much tax revenue the economy is likely to generate.