The Bottom Line

February 28, 2011

This week, our Spotlight on the States series heads down south to beautiful and sunny Florida, a state that has faced its share of budget woes. The state currently faces a $3.6 billion budget deficit (five percent of their 2010 budget) and has an unemployment rate of 12 percent, the third-highest in the country behind Nevada and California.

February 28, 2011

Shutting Down Versus Sitting Down – Congress returns to Washington this week after lawmakers spent last week back home. Just before leaving town the House of Representatives passed legislation funding the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year that slashes spending by about $60 billion compared to current levels.

February 28, 2011

UPDATE 3/1: House passes two-week CR by vote of 335-91. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that the bill will be taken up in the Senate and is likely to be passed within the next 48 hours.

With the current CR for FY 2011 coming to an end March 4, both parties in Congress are issuing short term plans to avoid a government shutdown, or at least to have political cover in case the government is shuttered.

February 28, 2011

In her latest commentary for CNN Money, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas talks about the House Republicans' latest spending proposals, how they could affect the budget and the economy, and the need for more fundamental budget reform.

Click here to read the full article.

 

February 27, 2011

On Friday, a panel discussion between Democratic and Republican staff directors of the House Budget Committee and CRFB president Maya MacGuineas focused on current budget negotiations and the likelihood of a government shutdown next week after the current CR expires on Friday March 4. Maya MacGuineas argued that lawmakers likely will not have time to agree on a solution in time to avoid a government shutdown.

February 25, 2011

Update: CBO released an estimate of H.R. 1 on Friday, Feb 25, puting total base discretionary budget authority at $1,026 billion. The table below has been updated.

February 25, 2011

As the impacts of the economic recession continue to fade, serious debate on the direction of fiscal policy is finally beginning with very different views on the timing and size of near-term budget cuts leading the way.  The President and his supporters are generally arguing to postpone cuts--or at least minimize them--until the economy picks up more steam.  Congressional Republicans argue that we already have far too much debt and that spending should be cut now with even more cuts in the years ahead.  Some have even suggested that the precarious n

February 23, 2011

Last week, the White House released the President’s FY 2012 budget proposal.

February 23, 2011

Last week, the White House released the President’s FY 2012 budget proposal. On Wednesday, CRFB released its analysis of the budget. Today, we take a closer look at the specific proposals found in the budget’s Terminations, Reductions, and Savings.

February 22, 2011

After four marathon sessions and hundreds of amendments the House of Representatives approved of legislation, H.R. 1, which will cut spending in the final seven months of FY 2011. However, while the course the bill traveled in the House was precarious, the rest of the path it must travel is downright impassable. Meanwhile, time is dwindling for Washington to avert a government shutdown.

February 22, 2011

In our continued analysis of the President’s budget, we now move to a detailed examination of what the budget, if enacted entirely and without future changes, would look like at the end of the 10-year cycle in 2021 and how it will change from today.

February 21, 2011

In a recent article, the Washington Post reported that federal, local, and state debt levels -- including the intergovernmental debt the government owes to itself through various trust funds --  will reach a level that hasn't been seen since immediately following WWII by year's end.

Luckily, after World War II, we were able to in part grow our way out of the debt. As the article explains, though, we face a far different situation today. It says:

February 21, 2011

Day of Leaders – Today we celebrate great American leaders with mattress sales and a day off (for some) from work. Congress left town for the whole week. We at the Bottom Line honor the day by calling for the type of leadership embodied by the likes of Washington and Lincoln in dealing with our fiscal challenges. Last week both the White House and Capitol Hill put forth proposals that have much to be desired, meanwhile a bipartisan group of senators is negotiating on the type of comprehensive solution that the nation needs.

February 18, 2011

In an op-ed  today on the Washington Post website, Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chairs of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, express hope that a grand bipartisan deficit reduction deal is possible.

February 18, 2011

In a thoughtful Washington Post op-ed this morning, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) calls for leadership and shared sacrifice on the issue of deficit reduction and urges President Obama to join the growing number of senators who have been brave enough to tackle this critical issue head on.

February 18, 2011

Markets so far this week have reacted to mixed news on the growth front in the US plus new concerns on inflation. As things start to wind up for the weekend, traders are also nervously watching news from various parts of the world.

February 17, 2011

Three days after the release of the President's budget, our blog series continues to provide new analysis.

February 17, 2011

While the budget world is caught up in the President's budget, it's time to celebrate an important birthday. On this day two years ago, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provided $821 billion in spending and tax cuts over ten years, although most of these funds were targeted for the first three years. (Previous estimates from CBO have put the cost initially at $787 billion, then $862, then $814.)

February 17, 2011

Today, Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, published an op-ed in The Hill offering their reactions to the President’s FY2012 budget. Bowles and Simpson write:

February 17, 2011

Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart spent part of the episode talking about our favorite topic: how to fix the federal budget. Needless to say, the show's suggestions were pretty hilarious.

Click here to check it out or watch below:

 

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