The Bottom Line

November 16, 2010

Yesterday, in the pages of the New York Times, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas joined 15 other experts in proposing how one might begin to cut the federal budget deficit. Contributors spanned the ideological spectrum, with their ideas including raising the retirement age, medical liability reform, new types of taxes and tax reform, and defense spending cuts.

November 15, 2010

In her latest commentary on CNN Money, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas challenges critics of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan and offers ideas to make it more politically viable. 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.

November 15, 2010

Hip, Hip, Hooray! The Chairmen of the President’s Deficit Reduction Commission finally have shed some light on the kinds of choices that will be needed to head off economic catastrophe. You may argue with some of their recommendations, but nobody who understands the Federal Budget will argue with a straight face that they have the basic components of any serious deficit/debt reduction package wrong.

November 15, 2010

The New York Times released their own "budget puzzle" over the weekend, allowing users to try to eliminate the primary deficit (the deficit excluding interest) by 2015 and 2030, thereby accomplishing the same goal the fiscal commission is charged with. Similar to our own simulator, it includes options all across the budget to help close the gap.

November 15, 2010

Congress returns this week for a lame-duck session during which members will face a huge mess—providing money to keep the lights on in the federal government. Lawmakers failed to enact any of the 12 annual appropriations measures before going home to campaign. This marks the 31st year out of the past 34 that Congress has relied on continuing resolutions to keep things running. But this year ranks among the most problematic. Congress failed to send President Obama ANY of the necessary spending measures.

November 15, 2010

We at CRFB have had our morning coffee and are trying to find ways to make the Fiscal Commission’s co-chair proposal better. CRFB president Maya MacGuineas has a few ideas this morning at CNN Money. But for the most part, it is a solid proposal full of good ideas.

November 15, 2010

Roast (Lame) Duck is Served – The lame duck session of Congress begins today, but it is already being panned as unlikely to be very productive. As we previously noted, lawmakers face a sizable (and expensive) laundry list. With no indication that bipartisan cooperation on any of the items is likely, legislators may simply punt them to the next Congress. A meeting Wednesday between congressional leaders and President Obama will provide a signal on what can be accomplished during the session.

November 12, 2010

In an op-ed in the Financial Times today, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) discussed tax breaks for the wealthy, an issue on everyone’s minds in the wake of the debt commission’s release and Congress's looming to do list.

November 12, 2010
The Fed, the G-20, Ireland, China – and the Fed

Domestic and global financial markets are being driven by major cross-currents once again.

On the home front, dust is still settling in the markets from the Fed’s announcement last week that it would launch its second round of quantitative easing (QE2, its purchase of large amounts of government debt to stimulate the economy). Earlier this week, the New York Fed announced its QE2 purchase plans for the near future: the Fed plans to be in the markets nearly every day. Stay tuned.

November 12, 2010

With the unexpected release of the draft proposal from the co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission, the naysayers have come out of the woodwork. But as we have seen all too often, the critics are willing to blast the report without offering alternatives for fixing our fiscal house.

November 11, 2010
(Memo to Taxpayers: How Much More Heavy Lifting Can the Fed Really Do?)

As taxpayers, politicians, journalists and wonks grapple with the wide-ranging fiscal plan launched by the chairmen of the President’s debt commission and the fiscal process recommendations issued by our own Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform yesterday, we have gotten a message from the others side of the Pacific about how big the stakes are internationally – although the timing is coincidental.

November 11, 2010

CRFB board member David Walker has a commentary on CNN's website today titled, "The Time for Fiscal Action is Now." 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. 

 

November 11, 2010

With the White House fiscal commission Co-Chair's proposal out in public, it's time to continue looking at the specifics of the plan. For this blog, we will look at the tax proposals.

Right now, revenue sits at an unusually low 14.6 percent of GDP due to the effects of the recession. Under the tax proposals, revenue would rise to 19.3 percent by 2015, 20.5 percent by 2020, and 21 percent by 2030. Revenue is capped at 21 percent so it does not go higher than that. Over the next decade, the proposal would increase revenue by about $1 trillion.

November 10, 2010

Continuing our analysis of the President’s Fiscal Commission Draft Report, let's look at what the Co-Chair proposal does on the spending side of the budget.

Overall, the proposal identifies $2.2 trillion in spending savings from 2012-2020, with about $730 billion coming from mandatory programs and about $1.5 trillion from discretionary programs, relative to the President's FY 2011 budget request.

On the discretionary budget, the Co-Chairs propose:

November 10, 2010

In a move much earlier than we expected, the Co-Chairs of the White House Fiscal Commission released their plan on how to get control of our national debt. The proposal is a drastic change from our current fiscal course and should be a document of great significance in the fiscal policy discourse. Before we get into specifics, we should point out that this is not the plan--14 out of 18 Commission members still have to agree to the recommendations.

November 10, 2010
Getting Back in the Black

The Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform today called on Congress and the President to overhaul the federal budget process in a new report, Getting Back in the Black.

November 9, 2010

Today, the Peterson Foundation announced a new ad campaign targeted at helping Americans understand the ramifications of our growing deficit. OweNo.com has launched a series of television ads featuring “Hugh Jidette,” a fictional presidential candidate running on the platform of increased federal spending and pushing the debt burden onto future generations. The humorous ads convey a serious message about the facts of our growing deficit situation in a lighthearted manner.

November 9, 2010

Nearly a year ago, in its first report, Red Ink Rising, the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform raised the alarm about the impact of our exploding federal debt. Since then, the debt has reached a post-World War II high of more than 60 percent of GDP. Under reasonable assumptions about current and future policies, debt is projected to exceed 180 percent by 2040.

November 8, 2010

Noted economist Brad DeLong is asking: where are the technocrats of the center? In a recent blog post, he laments the lack of a concrete plan among more centrist technocrats to get the economy going in the near-term while, at the same time leaving it better off in the long-run. He outlined a seven-point plan to accomplish this goal:

November 8, 2010
Our Newly Elected Tax Collectors

Call it happenstance, but in the gospel proclaimed in many Christian churches on Sunday, October 24—about a week before the election—Jesus admonishes those "convinced of their own self-righteousness," then makes a tax collector the hero in the parable cited.

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