The Bottom Line

April 8, 2011

With a possible federal government shutdown looming in only a few short hours, it is worth noting some of the costs if such an action occurs. With a lot hanging in the balance, a shutdown could have some serious consequences.

Budgetary costs

April 8, 2011

Update 04-09-11 10:15 am: The shutdown has been averted. Details here.

Update 6:51 pm: Conflicting reports on whether deal close on Planned Parenthood rider. Check out @BudgetHawks on Twitter for more updates tonight.

Update: 5:55 pm: Sen. Harry Reid orginally scheduled to speak on Senate floor at 6 pm. Now will happen at 8 pm at earliest.

April 8, 2011
A Potential Government Shutdown, Oil Prices and Portugal

The federal budget this week has been on everyone’s mind and television set. With the federal government set to shut down tonight at midnight if no budget is passed, markets have been keeping an eye on what is happening here in Washington. Currently, no agreement is in place and signs increasingly point to a government shutdown with agencies and leaders in both parties preparing.

April 7, 2011

UPDATED 4/8/11 to include a link to the budget framework released by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Today, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) released its FY 2012 budget proposal. This comes on the heels of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget, released earlier this week.

April 7, 2011

Considering its role as the biggest driver of long-term deficits and debt, health spending has to be addressed in any serious long-term budget plan. And to Rep. Paul Ryan's credit, he has definitely done that in his FY 2012 budget proposal. There are numerous provisions in the proposal that deal with federal health care spending. Let's go through them:

April 6, 2011

Today, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced legislation to require Congress to offset war costs with other tax or spending changes.

April 6, 2011

Yesterday, Congressman Paul Ryan released his budget proposal, which would bring the federal debt down to 67.5 percent of GDP by 2021, and significantly further thereafter.

Ideally, it is best to think about a proposal like this by looking at where takes future deficits and debt in absolute terms. However, it's also important to understand where the cuts come from, which means determining their magnitude relative to a "baseline".

April 6, 2011
A Midweek Update on Fiscal Policy Developments

House GOP Budget Unveiled – On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal, titled “The Path to Prosperity.” It is the Republican response to the White House budget released last month. The House Budget Committee will mark-up the bill today in an all-day session with the goal of voting on the House floor next week.

April 5, 2011

Today, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Dan Coats (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation to comprehensively reform the existing U.S. tax system in a revenue-neutral manner. The "Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2011" fundamentally reforms the U.S.

April 5, 2011

Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, unveiled his FY 2012 budget proposal. His budget would bring debt down to 67.5 percent of GDP by 2021 and would reduce the deficit by over $4.4 trillion over the next ten years when compared to CBO's score of the President's budget.

April 5, 2011

In response to Representative Paul Ryan's (R-WI) FY 2012 Budget proposal, CBO has released a long-term analysis of the proposal. The analysis, which includes the numbers reflected in Ryan's proposal released today, also goes into the policy effects of the various reforms he is offering and the long-term effects of his proposal.

April 5, 2011

In a reprise of last year, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) recently reintroduced his bill to create a more transparent budget regime and reform the federal budget process.

April 5, 2011

In her latest commentary for CNN Money, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas talks about the "no new taxes pledge" many members of Congress have signed and how it could stand in the way of the bipartisan compromise that's necessary to get our country back on a sustainable fiscal path.

Click here to read the full commentary.

April 4, 2011

The next state we turn to in our Spotlight on the States series is Connecticut – a small state that’s had some pretty big budget problems.

April 4, 2011

Cleaning out the House – Spring is often associated with housecleaning. Congress is long due to clear out the FY 2011 budget seeing as we are now half way through the fiscal year. This week may be the week, with a deadline looming on Friday and both sides reportedly close on a deal. The continuing resolution funding the federal government expires on April 8 and many lawmakers have indicated they are unwilling to approve of more stopgap measures.

April 1, 2011
Job Gains but Uncertainty Overseas

As events continue to develop both at home and abroad -- fiscal, humanitarian and otherwise -- the markets are sending and receiving mixed messages. The world and many economies have been rocked by political unrest, natural disasters, and (in the case of Europe) uncertainties over some countries’ fiscal outlooks. The U.S. government is locked in a fierce budget battle with a shutdown looming, while at the same time new economic data shows that the recovery continues to build momentum -- albeit not as fast as anyone would like.

April 1, 2011

Yesterday, Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced H.R. 1252, the “Medicare Information Act” (MedInfo Act). The legislation aims to better inform taxpayers about their individual Medicare contributions and benefits by including information in a yearly statement they already receive about Social Security. The overview of the bill states:

 

April 1, 2011

One of the biggest challenges in getting public support for deficit-reduction measures has always been knowledge about the composition of the federal budget. After all, if people think that cutting foreign aid and government worker benefits is enough to solve our deficit issues, they will be skeptical of reforms to more popular areas of the budget or tax increases. A new CNN poll is another in a long line of polls that have attempted to gauge public knowledge of how their tax dollars are spent.

March 31, 2011

Today Senate Republicans unveiled legislation (S.J. Res 10) to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that has the support of all 47 members of the conference. Republicans had been previously split between two competing versions (S.J. Res. 3 and S.J. Res. 5). The united group will now work on gaining Democratic support. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants a vote on the proposal to accompany a vote to increase the debt limit.

March 31, 2011

Update 4/4: The Blue Dog Democrats sent a letter to President Obama calling for a compromise on a long-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown in order move onto "a more serious conversation about the structural issues that plague our nation's fiscal health."

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