The Bottom Line

February 11, 2011

The President of the Atlanta branch of the Federal Reserve, Dennis Lockhart, made some important statements regarding our fiscal situation. While the Federal Reserve has no authority over our fiscal policy, the fact that more and more Fed officials are calling on our policymakers to deal with our fiscal house should be seen as a wake-up call that the time to delay is over.

February 10, 2011

While this week’s government bond auctions ($72 billion worth) were digested more easily than expected, yields for the benchmark 10-year bond and 30-year bond rose slightly and were at their highest points since last May.

February 10, 2011

Updated February 10th to include National Infrastructure Bank.

As the budget world waits for the FY 2012 Budget on Monday, some new proposals from that budget have already been leaked or presented by Administration officials. Let's take a look at them.

February 9, 2011

There’s been a lot of discussion about the recent spending cuts put forward by Representative Ryan (R-WI), designed to bring non-security discretionary spending back to 2008 levels for the remained of FY2011. Some of the right have criticized these cuts for being too mild, while others on the left have called them draconian.

February 9, 2011

Today, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) released a preliminary proposal for cuts to the President's FY2011 budget, totaling $74 billion in savings. Congress must pass a continuing resolution (CR) appropriating federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year before the current CR expires on March 4 to prevent a government shut-down.

February 8, 2011

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Thomas Carper (D-DE) have joined efforts in yet another bipartisan pairing, this time to enable enhanced rescission authority for the President in order to restrain spending. Last week we saw senators reach across the aisle to propose reforms for biennial budgeting and discretionary spending caps.

February 8, 2011

In her latest commentary on CNN money, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas calls on President Obama to stop making excuses and get serious about developing a comprehensive plan to address our budget deficits. She lays out several simple and concrete objectives -- such as writing a fiscal target into law and holding a budget summit -- which would bring everyone to the table and help strike an agreement to bring us back onto a sustainable fiscal path.

February 7, 2011

This week, our Spotlight on the States series takes us to New York.

New York faces an estimated budget deficit of $10 billion. Due to slower-than-expected economic growth, actions taken over the last year have failed to meaningfully improve the state's fiscal situation.

February 7, 2011

Budget Season Ramping Up – Football season may have ended last night, but budget season is just heating up. Lawmakers have introduced a plethora of bills in order to show voters that they are serious about addressing our fiscal problems. Expect that trend to continue, but pressure will increase for real action.

February 7, 2011

OMB Director Jack Lew previewed President Obama’s FY2012 budget in an op-ed published in Sunday’s New York Times.

February 4, 2011

With the House Appropriations Committee releasing their spending allocations for each subcommittee yesterday, it is useful to examine what the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is still chaired by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), wanted to do with last year's failed Omnibus spending package -- wrapping all 12 appropriation bills into one.

February 4, 2011

This morning the two co-chairs of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform were guests on CNBC's The Call. Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson talked about reaction to their report and shared their thoughts on some of the recent happenings in Washington.

Watch the video:

February 4, 2011
The Growth Play Returns

Markets in the U.S. and elsewhere have focused on signs that the U.S. economy continues to recover, although still at a very gradual pace. January’s payroll employment data and updated benchmarking for 2010 indicate that job creation remains very sluggish, even adjusting for possible weather-related effects which may have held down jobs numbers.

February 3, 2011
House Appropriations Sets Sub-Committee Allocations

Earlier today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chair of the House Budget Committee, unveiled new levels for discretionary spending for the remainder of FY 2011.

February 3, 2011

The debate over a Constitutional balanced-budget amendment has been going on in Washington for quite some time. However, the current fiscal environment and several proposals in both chambers of Congress this early in the new session mean that the idea could garner lots of attention, and votes, this year.

February 3, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a speech today at the National Press Club that once again called attention to our growing deficits and debt. Just last month, Bernanke was on Capitol Hill giving a similar evaluation.

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.

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