The Bottom Line

March 25, 2014
Federal budget deficit: Despite short-term improvement, Americans must continue pressing for solutions to long-term problem

Jason Peuquet, research fellow at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, has an op-ed with Joshua Gordon of the Concord Coalition in the San Jose Mercury News. It is reposted here. 

March 24, 2014
Measure Should Be Evaluated Separately From Other Tax Extenders

In the coming weeks, both the House and Senate are expected to begin discussing what to do with a number of expired tax provisions known as the "tax extenders." Most of these provisions are extended year after year and have become, in many ways, a fixture of the tax code. Bonus depreciation does not fall into this category.

March 24, 2014

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called on Congress to lay the groundwork for a budget grand bargain. Speaking this morning, Hoyer urged members of Congress to embrace common ground to achieve "a sustainable long-term budget outlook." He described the need for a comprehensive budget bargain and highlighted several specific areas where progress can be made, such as passing comprehensive immigration reform, addressing the expired tax extenders, and shoring up the highway trust fund.

March 19, 2014

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new estimate of the fiscally irresponsible Senate “doc fix” bill, showing it would increase Medicare spending by $180 billion over the next ten years, adding $215 billion to the debt by 2024 when interest costs are included.

March 19, 2014

As we showed last week, OMB projections show the President's budget will put the debt on a downward path this decade with deficits below 2 percent of GDP toward the end of the decade. This is true despite an aging population, growing health care costs, almost no changes to Medicaid and Social Security, and real but modest reductions to Medicare.

March 19, 2014

While Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's (R-MI) Tax Reform Act of 2014 (TRA) misses a critical opportunity to use tax reform to slow the unsustainable growth of the federal debt, his proposal should be commended for abiding by pay-as-you-go rules and responsibly paying for the set of expiring tax provisions often called the "tax extenders" and certain temporary expansions of refundable tax credits.

March 19, 2014

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) kicked off the Congressional budget season last week by releasing its "Better Off Budget." This release marks CPC's fourth published alternative to the official House Budget. The progressive budget generally offers a more liberal alternative than that proposed by either party or the President.

March 18, 2014
In Camp's Camp: Praising the Effort on Tax Reform

Kent Conrad, former Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, wrote a commentary in Roll Call. It is reposted here.

March 14, 2014

Proposals to "pay for" (or not pay for) a repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula have come out this week, and the verdict has been mostly not good.

March 14, 2014

It seems to be Gimmick Week in DC.

March 13, 2014
98% of Doc Fixes Since 2004 Have Been Fully Paid For, Resulting in $140 Billion in Deficit Reduction

To bolster their case against offsetting the high cost of SGR reform, many have claimed that the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is “budget fakery” and represents “savings that aren’t going to be realized.” Yet while it’s true most SGR cuts have not gone into effect as scheduled, that doesn’t mean the SGR hasn’t helped to control health care costs.

March 13, 2014

Note: This blog has been updated from its original posting to include the CBO score of the Senate Republican proposal.

March 13, 2014

In the wake of the release of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp's (R-MI) tax reform discussion draft, some misconceptions have been spread about both its potential benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we will look into four of these misconceptions.

Misconception #1: The draft raises corporate taxes by $500 billion to pay for tax cuts for individuals.

March 13, 2014

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) isn't the only agency in town that does long-term projections. The Treasury Department annually releases the Financial Report of the United States Government, which shows a number of different measures of the federal government's fiscal health both in the past fiscal year and over the next 75 years. That report shows the U.S. government has over $56 trillion of unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years.

March 12, 2014

Earlier today, we wrote that the the House Republican SGR bill would add to long-term deficits by using a timing gimmick to pay for permanent costs with temporary savings. It turns out, a Democratic alternative introduce by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) would replace this gimmick with another – the war spending gimmick.

March 12, 2014

While the relevant congressional committees recently reached agreement on a bipartisan plan to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a payment structure to better incentivize high-quality, higher-value care, the question of how to pay for that reform remains unresolved.

March 12, 2014

The administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its report to Congress on Monday detailing the sequester’s impact on mandatory spending programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and it shows a notable about-face on the fate of the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies.

March 11, 2014

OMB just published additional information, explanations, tables, and projections related to this year's budget -- known as the Analytical Perspectives. As part of that information, OMB published long-term estimates for the federal budget under the President's policies. 

March 10, 2014
(By Restoring Abandoned Policies to the President's Budget)

We talked last week about several policies making their first appearance in the President's budget. What we didn't mention is that in addition to introducing new policies, the President has dropped a few old ones. Among the policies the President had previously proposed but did not include in this year's budget are:

March 10, 2014

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides low-income taxpayers with a refundable tax credit that increases up to a certain point along with wages, has garnered bipartisan attention over recent weeks for its ability to encourage work. The credit has been around since the 1970s, and throughout its history has generally been supported by members on both sides of the aisle.

Syndicate content