The Bottom Line

June 17, 2011

For anyone who is interested in seeing tax subsidies cleaned up, there's a bit of good news for you. The Senate voted yesterday to eliminate a $5.4 billion per year ethanol tax credit by a tally of 73-27. The vote came on an amendment to the economic development bill that is making its way through the Congress.

June 17, 2011

It seems that interactive tools are definitely in vogue. We'd like to say we started the trend with the Stabilize the Debt simulator, and we have continued it with the fiscal plan Comparison Tool we released yesterday.

June 16, 2011

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison unveiled her Social Security reform plan today, and conveniently, it already has its own score from the Office of the Chief Actuary (OACT) at the Social Security Administration.

June 16, 2011

Check out CRFB's Fiscal Plan Comparison Tool!

The Comparison Tool is an interactive website that allows users to compare up to 3 fiscal plans side-by-side. A countless number of budgets or fiscal plans have been released in the past year and a half, and our new website is an easy way to compare and keep track of them.

June 15, 2011

In this next installment of our FY 2012 appropriations update, we will detail the actions that the House has taken since our last update on May 24. Despite the recess last week, the House has managed to stay active with the appropriations process.

June 15, 2011

CRFB's debt conference yesterday, titled "The Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Plans, and Market Jitters: Where Do We Go from Here?," featured an all-star cast of 40 of the biggest names in economic and fiscal policy, producing a fascinating discussion on the debt ceiling and our country's long-term outlook. Here's a brief summary of some of the things that were said.

June 15, 2011

We were lucky enough to have Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke open our annual conference this week. His remarks were an important statement on the need for action and also offered some helpful guidance on how to move forward. Full text of his remarks is here and video of the event can be viewed here.

Bernanke on our current situation:

June 14, 2011

We hope you tune in today to the live webcast below and Twitter feed (@budgethawks and #debtconference) of CRFB's 2011 Annual Conference The Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Plans, and Market Jitters: Where Do We Go From Here? The conference will run from 2:30 - 5:30pm.

June 14, 2011

Update: As it turns out, increasing the Medicare age actually improves benefits for low-income seniors, thus helping to most disadvantaged.

June 14, 2011

Yesterday while making comments about the Jobs and Competitiveness Council, President Obama made some remarks that qualified him to be the newest member of CRFB's Announcement Effect Club. Here's what caught our attention (from Politico):

Obama also sought Monday to link the deficit-cutting talks and the issue identified in polls by most Americas as their top concern: job creation.

June 13, 2011

As the bipartisan group of lawmakers being led by Vice President Biden continue to discuss the budget and ways to raise the debt ceiling, it seems the Vice President has gotten himself another fiscal policy-related task: the Campaign to Cut Waste.

June 13, 2011

Today, CNN Money featured a piece from the Concord Coalition's Josh Gordon, who argued against repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) established in the health reform legislation. As Gordon explains:

June 13, 2011

Over the past few weeks, a number of new members have been added to The Announcement Effect Club. Recently, Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) all joined the club. All pointed out that enacting a fiscal plan now to reduce our long-term fiscal problems would restore confidence in the market and thus bring about short-term economic benefits in addition to the long-term benefits often associated with deficit reduction.

June 13, 2011

Except in Miami – The Miami Heat weren’t hot enough, but Washington saw record temperatures last week. Capitol Hill may warm things up this week as well as both chambers are in session together for the first time this month and the Biden group looks to pick up the pace of its debt limit/deficit reduction negotiations. CRFB will also add some sizzle with a big conference this week.

June 10, 2011

We are honored that Treasury & Risk has included CRFB's president, Maya MacGuineas, on their list of The 100 Most Influential Leaders in Finance for 2011. Names on the list range from government officials to policymakers to CEOs, including Ben Bernanke, Steve Jobs, and President Obama.

June 10, 2011

Update: Estimates updated

June 9, 2011

The bicameral, bipartisan debt limit and deficit reduction negotiations chaired by Vice President Biden resumed today with the group’s fifth meeting since it first convened last month. The pace of the talks is expected to pick up next week with as many as three meetings.

June 9, 2011

In his Senate confirmation hearing this morning to become the next Secretary of Defense, CIA Director Leon Panetta (and former CRFB chairman!) said that every element of the defense budget needs to be on the table when we discuss ways to get control of our mounting federal debt.

June 9, 2011

Yesterday, Fitch became the latest credit rating agency, following S&P and Moody’s in recent weeks, to warn the U.S. of a credit rating downgrade if we fail to raise the debt ceiling by August 2nd.

June 8, 2011

In the last few weeks there has been an incredible amount of talk about using targets, triggers, caps, and failsafes to help set us on a sustainable course. Many different approaches can be taken to solve the broken budget problem, and CRFB hopes the new Fiscal Toolbox from the Peterson-Pew Commission (PPC) will offer guidance in choosing the right approach to repair the budget. 

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