The Bottom Line

July 5, 2011
A Weekly Update on Fiscal Policy Developments

More Fireworks in Store – Washington, DC celebrated Independence Day on Monday night with its annual fireworks display on the National Mall. Though the traditional pyrotechnics may be out of the way, lawmakers returning to work today could produce more fireworks in the nation’s capital.

July 5, 2011

After a sold-out presentation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week in which Fiscal Commission co-chair Senator Alan Simpson detailed the Commission's $4+ trillion long-term deficit reduction plan, over 200 Wyoming residents signed a letter urging their elected officials -- President Obama, Senators Enzi and Barrasso, and Congresswoman Lummis -- to endorse a compromise along the lines of the Commission

July 5, 2011

In a recent report, CBO estimated the base defense budget from 2012 out through 2030 using the Defense Department's Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) -- DoD's five-year plan for defense spending submitted to Congress in April 2011 -- to project future spending.

July 1, 2011
Close the Tax Loophole for Online Retailers

In today's Washington Post, CRFB board member Dan Crippen makes the case for closing the tax loophole for online retailers.

July 1, 2011

It’s hard to deny that Twitter has become an important medium, having recently surpassed 300 million registered users. The White House has recognized its emergence by scheduling its first Twitter Townhall for Wednesday, July 6. The topic will be the economy and there likely will be, and should be, questions on the debt limit and national debt in general. You can submit your own question via Twitter using the #AskObama hashtag.

July 1, 2011

As if we didn't have enough on CBO's Long Term Outlook last week, we have more long-term budget projections, this time in the form of CRFB's Realistic Baseline!

July 1, 2011

June has come to a close. With that also comes an end of the second round of quantitative easing, known as QE2.

June 30, 2011

As our nation’s debt continues along its unsustainable path, it has become increasingly essential for a comprehensive fiscal plan that targets all areas of the federal budget—including defense.

June 29, 2011

Yesterday the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study on the complexity of the federal tax code at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on tax reform. The GAO study shows that switching to a simpler, fairer, and more efficient tax code would be a relatively easy way to control the deficit while bolstering the economy.

June 28, 2011

Earlier today, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a Medicare reform proposal similar to one that Sen. Lieberman proposed a few weeks ago. This proposal, however, has more cost savings than Sen. Lieberman's first Medicare reform plan and would use some of the savings to offset a three-year fix for the SGR.

June 28, 2011

Yesterday CRFB President Maya MacGuineas appeared on Bloomberg Television to talk about how imperative it is to address our dire fiscal outlook while at the same time raising the debt ceiling on time. MacGuineas argued that the current debt ceiling debate has been different than previous ones:

June 27, 2011

Last week the Economist published an article entitled America's debt ceiling: The mother of all tail risks. This article explains what could happen if the United States defaults, in light of the August 2nd deadline being a mere five weeks away. Of paticular note, the Economist highlights the recent upward trajectory of credit-default swaps and provides further insight as to why even a technical default could cause turmoil in markets and how this would likely cost the government significantly.

June 27, 2011

In their recent Long Term Outlook, CBO shows the nation to be on an unsustainable fiscal path if we continue our current policies. Under its Alternative Fiscal Scenario, debt reaches 100 percent of GDP by the end of the decade and 200 percent by 2037.

June 27, 2011
What's Needed: A $4 Trillion Gimmick-Free Deficit Deal in Two Parts

In a recently published op-ed in The Hill, CRFB board members Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson write that a serious fiscal reform plan must be agreed to and enacted in order to get our exploding debt under control.

June 27, 2011
A Weekly Update on Fiscal Policy Developments

Where Is Our Columbo? – Peter Falk, the award-winning actor best known for playing the rumpled, yet wily, Lt. Columbo, died on Thursday. Falk, who was an analyst with the Connecticut State Budget Bureau before embarking on a professional acting career, created an endearing and enduring character who used unique techniques to get the job done. Detective Columbo always got the bad guy using a brilliant mind and obsessive desire to tie up loose ends, all hidden behind a disheveled facade to lull the guilty party into a false sense of complacency.

June 24, 2011

Continuing our analysis of CBO's Long-Term Outlook, we looked yesterday at the policy assumptions under CBO's two budget paths and at spending and revenue projections in their analysis. Today, we will look at what CBO believes will happen to the economy as a result of our growing debt burden.

June 24, 2011

Despite House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) decision yesterday to withdraw from the Biden-led negotiations to avoid default, there is still hope in Washington that lawmakers can reach an agreement by August 2nd. In response to Cantor’s withdrawal from the talks, Derek Thompson -- a visiting fellow at CRFB -- wrote an interesting article titled The Only Solution to the Budget Mess: Raising Revenues, Not Taxes.

June 23, 2011

Spending and revenues in the long-term outlook is always an interesting topic to discuss. Just like with debt, you find words and phrases like "unprecedented" or "extraordinarily high" used frequently. In this blog, we'll use those words a number of times while showing spending and revenue levels under the Extended-Baseline Scenario and Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS).

June 23, 2011
Drivers of Entitlement Growth in CBO'S Long-Term Outlook

As we explained in our recent analysis of CBO's Long-Term Budget Outlook, the debt is on an unsustainable path. Only a decade from now, under their Alternative Fiscal Scenario, debt will surpass 100 percent of GDP. And by 2037, it will exceed 200 percent.

Driving this is the increasing cost of entitlement spending -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and (to a lesser extent) other health spending. But what drives the growth of these programs?

June 23, 2011

At 10am today, CBO director Doug Elmendorf will testify before the House Budget Committee on CBO's latest Long-Term Budget Outlook, released yesterday.

Syndicate content