The Bottom Line

December 8, 2010

Today legislation to provide $250 payments to Social Security recipients in lieu of a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) failed to garner enough votes in either chamber. The Social Security Trustees announced earlier this year that there would be no COLA because prices have not risen above the level of the last increase in 2009. The bill would have cost $14 billion.

December 8, 2010

James T. Lynn, a member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget board and former budget director in the Ford administration died Dec. 6 in Bethesda, MD. Mr. Lynn was 83 years old and died as a result of complications from a stroke. During the Nixon administration, Mr. Lynn served as general counsel and undersecretary at the Department of Commerce before becoming secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1975, President Ford tapped Mr. Lynn as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

December 8, 2010
Good for short-run growth, but what does it signal about fiscal policy? February is a long time to wait for clarification

Financial markets have reacted to the new tax cut deal between the White House and Congressional leaders which would add some $800-900 billion to our national debt.

In the past two trading days since the deal was announced, we have seen the largest bond sell-off this year and so interest rates have gone up fairly dramatically. So far, yields on the benchmark 10 year Treasury bond have jumped by over 35 basis points (considered a sizeable rise), to the highest point since June. Money has shifted to the stock market, and the dollar is higher.

December 7, 2010

It appears that President Obama and Republican lawmakers have reached a deal to extend the tax cuts enacted from 2001 to 2003.

December 6, 2010

Today, the Center for American Progress released a plan to get specific on our growing deficits and debt. Or, rather, they've released five illustrative plans, specifically endorsing one--the 50/50 plan--as a balanced compromise.

December 6, 2010

Commission Can’t Quite Commit – The President’s Fiscal Commission was able to produce a fiscal plan last week that garnered a bipartisan majority of votes within the panel (11 out of 18 members), but not the 14 vote supermajority required to compel Congress to act. The question now is: will the Commission’s work go the way of many other commissions and be shelved, or can it still prompt action in Washington.

December 6, 2010

In her latest commentary on CNN Money, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas celebrates the bipartisan, super-majority vote of the Fiscal Commission and hopes that policymakers begin to take action. Read it here.

"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the Committee.

December 6, 2010

After the addition of the Fiscal Commission to the Announcement Effect Club last week, Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post kept the membership growing with an op-ed in Friday's Post. 

December 4, 2010

In a Heritage Foundation analysis of the President's Fiscal Commission's final plan, Brian Riedl argues that the recommendations have "too much taxes, not enough spending cuts." Riedl takes issue with the Fiscal Commission's claim that the primary (before interest) savings are split between 65 percent spending cuts and 35 percent tax increases.

December 3, 2010

Once again, Congress earlier this week had to pass a short-term stop-gap spending measure to keep the lights on. The House and Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) keeping the federal government funded at current levels through December 18. The resolution was needed because Congress has passed none—that’s right none—of the twelve Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations measures.

December 3, 2010
Safe Haven From Eurozone, Upside Consumer Surprises, Then Caution

What a week it’s been. Just look at the ups and downs of the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note.

December 3, 2010

Update: 11 out of the commission's 18 members voted to approve of the final proposal. See our release here.

December 2, 2010

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has just voted for the Fiscal Commission's final plan. In an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune explaining why he is choosing to support the plan, Durbin states that:

"The simple fact is this: America needs to grow our economy and reduce our $13.8 trillion debt."

December 2, 2010

Today, Andy Stern, a member of the Fiscal Commission, released the 21st Century Plan for America’s Leadership, a proposal to reduce the federal deficit while increasing the level of basic investment by the government in the long term.

December 2, 2010

Since the Fiscal Commission released its final report yesterday, CRFB has updated its comprehensive table covering all of the deficit reduction packages out there to date. The comparison grid includes the Fiscal Commission’s co-chair and final proposals (a great way to compare the two!), Paul Ryan’s Roadmap, the Galston-MacGuineas Plan, the Esquire Commission’s plan, the Debt Reduction Task Force, and Rep. Schakowsky’s plan.

December 2, 2010

In the wake of the release of the Fiscal Commission’s deficit reduction plan, it’s interesting to note the dichotomy between the focus on deficit reduction and the debate over the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. Both of these issues are at the forefront of public debate right now. The Fiscal Commission should be applauded for its hard work in trying to draft a coherent and credible plan that will address our medium and long-term fiscal challenges.

December 2, 2010

Update: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has also decided to support the Fiscal Commission's plan, helping to give the recommendations a bipartisan, majority backing of 11 votes.

December 1, 2010

In today's release of the Fiscal Commission's final recommendations, the report undoubtedly, unequivocally, indubitably joined the Announcement Effect Club. In the section on how the plan can fit into "fostering an economic recovery", here's what they had to say:

December 1, 2010

The co-chairs of the President's fiscal commission today released the deficit reduction plan that members will be asked to vote on Friday.

December 1, 2010
Why We Need to Address our Fiscal Challenges – Now

As they read over the draft Fiscal Commission plan released today, many politicians will wonder why in the world should they agree on a plan – any plan - that contains so many features they don't like and which would more than likely set in motion painful adjustments for their constituents?

Syndicate content