The Bottom Line

January 5, 2011

Last night, the House Republican conference approved a new set of rules -- making some big changes to several budgetary rules currently in place. The rules package will go before the full House of Representatives this afternoon, and is expected to be easily adopted.

January 4, 2011

Over the holiday break, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) gave an interview on Fox News that qualified him to be the newest member of the Announcement Effect Club.

January 3, 2011

Happy New Year, and what a year we've had!

January 3, 2011

Happy New Year – Washington is gearing up for what will be an interesting 2011. President Obama is back to work on Tuesday from his vacation and the new Congress, featuring a Republican majority in the House, will gavel into session on Wednesday. Key dates are taking shape – the White House will release its 2012 budget request on February 14 and the stopgap measure currently funding the government expires on March 4.

December 23, 2010

Incoming House Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives next month have proposed new rules for the 112th Congress. The House GOP Conference will vote on the rules on January 4 and may amend them. They will be formally approved by the House when it convenes on January 5.

Several proposed rules will have a significant impact on budget and fiscal matters.

December 23, 2010

With the holiday season in full force, the White House made some news in announcing on Twitter that the President will focus on the federal budget and national debt in his State of the Union speech in January.

December 22, 2010

The Treasury Department released Tuesday its annual Financial Report of the U.S Government. The report highlights the nation's budget deficit, net operating costs, debt projections, and all government liabilities on an accrual accounting basis. To sum it up, the report shows us how big of a hole we're truly in.

December 21, 2010

On Tuesday the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) keeping the federal government funded until March 4; the House is expected to pass it later in the day. This bill maintains discretionary funding for FY2011 at FY 2010 levels until March 4th--setting up yet another budget fight in a few short months. The total cost of the bill is $250 billion.

December 20, 2010

This morning, Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) announced that they will introduce as legislation the Fiscal Commission’s recommendations in early January.

December 20, 2010

Over the past few weeks, several other think tanks, lawmakers, and experts have proposed their own plans for deficit reduction. We've update our comparison table of all the deficit reduction plans to give people a better sense of all the existing plans.

December 20, 2010

Deck the Halls with Bills of Folly – On Friday President Obama signed the $858 billion tax cut package that Congress passed earlier in the week, deeming it a great bipartisan achievement. The great “compromise” greatly compromises our fiscal outlook and makes it more imperative that fundamental tax reform and a comprehensive debt reduction plan be enacted next year.

December 17, 2010

With a real lack of fiscal sanity running around Washington lately, it's truly refreshing and encouraging to see someone break from party lines, special interests, and all other shackles to make decisions about what's best for our country's fiscal health down the road. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has been doing just that.

December 16, 2010
From Congress to Spain: the Growth Play versus the Risk Play

Nearing the end of the week, markets are still wrestling with the same cross-currents they faced last week, but with a new wrinkle - Spain.

The growth play: With most forecasters sticking to their stronger near-term growth forecasts since the tax cut deal was announced, traders have continued to rebalance portfolios away from bonds and into stocks. Still, growth is not expected to be strong and data has continued to be mixed.

December 16, 2010

Update 12/17: The House approved of the tax cut package late Thursday on a 277-148 vote. The bill now goes to the White House for the president's signature. The Senate pulled the omnibus package from consideration and now plans another short-term Continuing Resolution.

December 16, 2010

An old cliche says that there are two things you should not watch being made--sausage and legislation. But right now, people should be watching the end-of-year process being used to allow the federal government to pay its bills. Then they'll know why we are in such a fiscal mess. Here's the current state of play:

December 15, 2010

Update: The Senate passed the tax cut legislation on a 81-19 vote. It now moves to the House, which may act Wednesday or Thursday.

December 14, 2010

The Senate is poised to pass a tax cut package that will add over $850 billion to our deficit. Meanwhile, a pork-laden $1.108 trillion omnibus spending bill was introduced in the very same chamber Tuesday in the latest chapter of the mockery that is the budget and appropriations process. Not good news by any means on the fiscal front.

December 14, 2010

With the Senate getting past a procedural vote in approving the tax deal, it appears more and more likely that this deal will soon become law.

December 13, 2010

 

In a new paper, “Creating a Fiscal Turnaround in the United States,” CRFB President Maya MacGuineas discusses our current fiscal situation and offers viable solutions for turning it around. MacGuineas suggests that lawmakers need to agree on a fiscal target, commit to a credible fiscal consolidation plan and offer specific ideas on deficit reduction. Click here to read the paper.

 

December 13, 2010

Update: The White House recently stated that the tax cut deal would create or save 2.2 million jobs, which would bring the budgetary cost to $390,000 per job, right in the middle of the cost per job range we estimated below.

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