The Bottom Line

February 7, 2011

OMB Director Jack Lew previewed President Obama’s FY2012 budget in an op-ed published in Sunday’s New York Times.

February 4, 2011

With the House Appropriations Committee releasing their spending allocations for each subcommittee yesterday, it is useful to examine what the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is still chaired by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), wanted to do with last year's failed Omnibus spending package -- wrapping all 12 appropriation bills into one.

February 4, 2011

This morning the two co-chairs of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform were guests on CNBC's The Call. Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson talked about reaction to their report and shared their thoughts on some of the recent happenings in Washington.

Watch the video:

February 4, 2011
The Growth Play Returns

Markets in the U.S. and elsewhere have focused on signs that the U.S. economy continues to recover, although still at a very gradual pace. January’s payroll employment data and updated benchmarking for 2010 indicate that job creation remains very sluggish, even adjusting for possible weather-related effects which may have held down jobs numbers.

February 3, 2011
House Appropriations Sets Sub-Committee Allocations

Earlier today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chair of the House Budget Committee, unveiled new levels for discretionary spending for the remainder of FY 2011.

February 3, 2011

The debate over a Constitutional balanced-budget amendment has been going on in Washington for quite some time. However, the current fiscal environment and several proposals in both chambers of Congress this early in the new session mean that the idea could garner lots of attention, and votes, this year.

February 3, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a speech today at the National Press Club that once again called attention to our growing deficits and debt. Just last month, Bernanke was on Capitol Hill giving a similar evaluation.

February 3, 2011

Today on Ezra Klein's blog, Derek Thompson (who contributes to a great blog over at The Atlantic) makes the liberal case for deficit reduction. He notes that current budget policy debates can leave you depressed because Congress lacks both the appetite for high impact spending today and the will to cut the deficit down the road. We know the feeling all too well.

February 2, 2011

The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on tax reform this morning, featuring testimony from four witnesses who all unequivocally called for fundamental reform to our tax code.

February 2, 2011

It's an interesting time in the fiscal policy world right now. A lot of uncertainty is up in the air about what will happen with our deficits and debt. Last week, a lot of bad news came in.

February 2, 2011

On Monday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) sent a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations calling for the Pentagon to get its finances in order in the face of elevated budget scrutiny. Although many politicians view defense spending as sacrosanct -- particularly on Senator Coburn's side of the aisle -- there is a growing consensus that the defense budget must be brought under control.

February 1, 2011

Today the Senate Budget Committee, led by chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL), held a hearing on The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2011-2021. The panel testifying before the committee was made up of three economists -- Dr. Richard Berner, chief U.S.

February 1, 2011

Another bipartisan group of Senators is introducing legislation to promote fiscal reform. Recently we saw Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) work together in support of biennial budgeting.

January 31, 2011

Late last week, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation to revamp our budgeting process from an annual to a biennial process. Sen. Isakson has introduced this legislation each year since 2005, when he first came to the Senate, and Sen. Shaheen managed biennial budgets during her time as governor of New Hampshire, which has long utilized biennial budgets. The bipartisan bill (S.

January 31, 2011

CRFB would like to congratulate Trudy Givens of Portage, Wisconsin - the 2010 SAVE Award winner!

January 31, 2011

Game On – The Super Bowl in Texas won’t be until Sunday, but Washington had its own big game last week as President Obama gave his State of the Union address.

January 28, 2011

In yesterday's Budget and Economic Outlook, CBO shows that Social Security will run deficits each year over the coming decade, depleting $547 billion from the program's trust funds by 2021. We were already predicting this would happen back in March of last year.

January 27, 2011

Continuing our "Spotlight on the States" series, which takes a look at state-level fiscal issues around the country, the Bottom Line turns to the state of Illinois.

January 27, 2011

In what is sure to be a wake-up call for the Japanese government, Standard & Poor’s cut Japan’s credit rating today for the first time in nine years. Japan, whose credit rating was downgraded from AA to AA-, faces a debt of 943 trillion yen ($11 trillion) - more than double of their annual economic output.

January 27, 2011

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is calling for swift and decisive action to address our worsening fiscal problems. His comments come in reaction to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) January 2011 baseline report, which was released yesterday. To see CRFB's analysis of the new baseline, click here.

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