The Bottom Line

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.

January 27, 2011

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released his plan for cutting federal spending earlier this week in the latest in a wave of Republican spending cut proposals, joining plans released in the last week from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and the House Republican Study Committee.

January 26, 2011

CBO today released its new budget and economic update, showing higher ten-year deficit and debt projections from 2012 to 2021 than they predicted back in August. The 2011 deficit is projected to be the highest in history (in nominal dollars), $1.48 trillion, while the ten-year deficit is close to $7 trillion, up by about $725 billion from where it was in August.

January 26, 2011

Congressional leaders have agreed to reappoint Doug Elmendorf as the director of the Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Elmendorf, who has been the director of CBO since 2009, was officially reappointed to the position today by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and the Senate President Pro Tempore Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI).

January 26, 2011

Today, the House voted to end public financing of political party conventions and presidential campaigns by a vote of 239-160. This is part of a continuing effort on the part of House leadership to make good on their pledge to vote on weekly bills that promote spending restraint.

January 26, 2011

Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama hailed a new era of bipartisan cooperation, focusing on America's competitiveness to "win the future." He focused on the need to invest in innovation, education, infrastructure, as well as getting out from under our "mountain of debt." We released a statement last night giving our initial reaction to his proposals.

January 26, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has released her proposal to reign in federal spending, amounting to over $425 billion in cuts annually.

January 25, 2011

Beginning at 9pm, President Obama will address the nation in second annual State of the Union address to Congress and the American public.

CRFB will be live tweeting the event on Twitter (@Budgethawks), providing insight into any statements on spending, revenues, deficits, and debt. We hope there will be many.

Also, be sure to check back to CRFB after the address as we will be posting a brief release on our take on the speech.

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