Tuesday, December 13, 2011


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


Congressional Budget Office (CBO)







The United States is facing significant and fundamental budgetary challenges. The federal government’s budget deficit for fiscal year

2011 was $1.3 trillion; at 8.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), that deficit was the third-largest shortfall in the past 40 years.

(GDP is the sum of all income earned in the domestic production of goods and services. In 2011, it totaled $15.0 trillion.)


In 2011, federal spending (outlays) exceeded 24% of GDP, the third-highest level in the past 40 years, while federal revenues

were just over 15% of GDP, the third-lowest level during that period. If economic conditions improve, spending will decline relative

to GDP and revenues will rise. But even so, under current policies, a large gap between spending and revenues will persist.

Annual budget deficits occur when spending exceeds revenues; the government must borrow to cover such a shortfall. Federal debt

held by the public is the total value of outstanding Treasury bills, notes, bonds, and other debt instruments (including Treasury

securities held by the Federal Reserve) that have accumulated over time to finance the government’s activities.


At the end of fiscal year 2011, debt held by the public amounted to $10.1 trillion, or 67% of GDP. Another $4.6 trillion in Treasury

securities were held by other federal government accounts, representing amounts that one part of the government (mostly

the Social Security Administration) had lent to another (the Treasury)


This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 262-6041               
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       
E-mail: smb6@cornell.edu                  



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