The Bottom Line

April 22, 2011

Yesterday, CBO released a report on the effect of automatic stabilizers on the deficit, showing that in recent years, they have added hundreds of billions to the deficit. This report follows a report they released last year on the same subject.

April 22, 2011

Yesterday, CRFB released an analysis of President Obama's new deficit reduction framework meant to save $4 trillion dollars over 12 years. Using CBO's economic and technical assumptions and looking at a standard 10-year period, we find the plan would save $2.5 trillion and would result in a slightly increasing debt-to-GDP ratio toward the end of the decade.

April 21, 2011

This morning, CRFB released a paper analyzing President Obama's new budget framework which the President laid out last week in a speech at the George Washington University. In this paper, we find that the President's Framework saves $2.5 trillion over 10 years, a substantial improvement over the President's February budget request.

April 20, 2011

As our readers know, CRFB is a big proponent of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under health reform to control Medicare cost growth. In the health care paper from our Let's Get Specific series, we suggested potential ways to strengthen IPAB.

April 20, 2011

As we have been looking at a number of fiscal plans for the US recently, the IMF has a useful appendix in its most recent Fiscal Monitor on what has worked and what has failed in past fiscal consolidation attempts (a topic we have delved into in the past).

April 19, 2011

The Congressional Budget Office has released its full analysis of President Obama's FY 2012 budget request. While the new report goes into greater detail, it contains no baseline changes or budget projection changes from the preliminary analysis CBO released in March. The main new analysis in this report is the economic analysis of the President's budget in which CBO analyzes what will happen to fiscal policy under the budget request. 

April 18, 2011

Today, the S&P has cut the US ratings outlook from stable to negative, while maintaining our triple-A rating. While this does not represent a direct hit to the nation's credit, it serves as yet another warning that a downgrade may be in the near future.

April 18, 2011

Happy Tax Day – Today is about the consequences of procrastination for the great many waiting until the last minute to file their federal income tax returns. It is also the time when the most consideration is given to the costs and benefits of the federal government.

April 18, 2011

In the spirit of Tax Day today the Bottom Line presents its own special “10/40” (don’t worry; we aren’t filing this with the IRS).

April 15, 2011

Congressman Ryan has come under attack, recently, for the tax reform framework in the House Republican budget proposal.

April 15, 2011

Just in time for Tax Day on Monday, the White House website has launched a taxpayer receipt. By entering what one has paid in federal taxes, the new tool allows users to view where their tax dollars go, with results broken down by category.

April 15, 2011

Last night, Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) withdrew from consideration his substitute amendment to the FY 2012 budget resolution that will be voted on today. His remarks submitted for the Congressional Record (presented in full below) explain his reasoning for withdrawing the measure and make the case for bipartisan, comprehensive action. Rep. Cooper is to be applauded for stepping up and improving the budget debate while building more momentum toward bipartisan action on the debt and deficit.

April 14, 2011

Unlike the haggling over spending for this year, which finally ended today with passage of legislation funding the federal government for the rest of the year, the debate over the FY 2012 budget has produced a broader, longer-term focus on our problems and possible solutions.

April 14, 2011

The House and Senate today approved of legislation funding the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, ratifying the agreement reached late last week that averted a government shutdown. For good measure, lawmakers flirted with one more deadline as the “bridge CR” that has been financing government operations since last Friday night’s last-minute deal was set to expire tomorrow.

April 14, 2011

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, has released his own budget proposal to counter that of Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Van Hollen's plan reaches primary balance in 2018 by reducing the deficit by over $1.2 trillion more than President Obama's official FY 2012 budget proposal. The Van Hollen budget:

April 14, 2011

Yesterday, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act – Social Security reform legislation which would bring the program into 75-year actuarial balance through significant increases in the retirement age and by slowing the growth of benefits for higher earners.

April 13, 2011

Today, President Obama outlined his plan for putting our country back on a firm fiscal path to deal with our long-term debt problem. This is a huge step forward and an important development in confronting our fiscal challenges. (Click here to read CRFB's reaction to the President's plan.)

April 13, 2011

Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), a liberal group of Democrats in the House, released its own FY 2012 budget, "The People's Budget," which offers "a clear contrast" to the budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI).

April 12, 2011

With Tax Day rapidly approaching and our nation’s fiscal problems being fiercely debated, the timing of today’s events couldn’t be more perfect. We’re talking about this morning’s event – Tax Reform Now: Cutting Rates and Deficits – and the publication of two new papers, each of which present a unique approach to tax reform.

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