This section is prepared pursuant to Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standard (SFFAS) 36, Reporting Comprehensive Long-Term Fiscal Projections for the U.S. Government. It is intended to help readers of the Financial Report of the U.S. Government (FR) assess whether future budgetary resources will be sufficient to sustain public services and to meet future obligations as they come due, assuming that the Federal Government’s current policies for spending and taxation are continued.1 Such an assessment requires prospective information about receipts and spending, the resulting debt, and how these amounts relate to the economy. The assessment is also referred to as reporting on “fiscal sustainability.”
The information in this section is important not only for its financial, but also its social and political, implications. Financial reports should provide information that can help readers assess the likelihood that the Government will be able to continue providing the equivalent level of public services and to assess whether financial burdens without related benefits will be shifted to future taxpayers. Fiscal sustainability reporting should assist the reader in understanding these financial, social, and political implications.2
The projections and analysis presented here are mathematical extensions and extrapolations based on an array of assumptions as described below, including the assumption that current Federal policy does not change. These projections cannot be interpreted as forecasts or predictions of the future, in part because they encompass hypothetical future trends or events that are improbable. This is the first year in which this information is included with the other Supplemental Information, and the methods and assumptions used in producing this section are still under development.