The Bottom Line

August 9, 2011

Who needs amusement parks when you can watch the volatility that is the stock market? Just a day after the Dow Jones posted its biggest one-day loss since the financial meltdown in 2008, the Dow bounced back with a 400+ point gain. In the middle of the day, there was the much-anticipated release of the FOMC's statement, which itself contributed to the up-and-down action.

August 9, 2011
Getting to Yes: The Case for a Centrist 'Super Committee'

In a new op-ed in Roll Call, former Congressman and CRFB board member John Tanner explains why America needs a centrist 'super committee.' Tanner writes that "[q]ualified Members should have a track record of bipartisanship, be devoid of ideological and inflammatory rancor, and be willing to roll their sleeves up and take some big risks," saying that we can not get to 'yes' if the members of the committee remain entrenched in partisan ideolog

August 8, 2011

With the Budget Control Act now in the books, it's time for us to update our CRFB Realistic Baseline from our projections a month ago. In addition to the discretionary spending caps contained in the legislation, we will also incorporate the effects of the final CR (which were excluded from CBO's Long Term Outlook and, thus, our original baseline).

August 8, 2011

The caps on discretionary spending were, of course, the concrete centerpiece of last week's budget deal. Considering the importance of the caps, CBO published a blog explaining how they work and what would happen to discretionary spending over the ten-year window.

First, they go into some background on the caps:

August 8, 2011
A Weekly Update on Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Downers – Markets were down last week on fears that the European debt crisis was spreading and that the U.S. recovery was slowing down. These losses added to those from the previous week as lawmakers went to the wire to approve a statutory debt limit increase to avoid a default. Then came word late Friday that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded U.S. credit for the first time ever because of concerns that the country is not adequately addressing its mounting national debt.

August 8, 2011
CRFB President on S&P Downgrade

In two recent commentaries, written for CNN and CNN Money, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas talks about S&P's recent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and what it means for Washington going forward.

August 6, 2011

Yesterday, the Standard & Poor's rating agency downgraded the United States' long-term bond rating from AAA to AA+.

August 5, 2011

Budget projections are a rather fickle thing, especially in the midst of great uncertainty about the strength of the economic recovery. By accident, CBO is providing a great demonstration of this fact in trying to get the numbers right for 2011.

August 5, 2011

CBO's latest Social Security projections bring no surprises to anyone familiar with the state of the program's finances. CBO projects the program to face a shortfall in the 2030s, with permanent cash flow deficits.

August 4, 2011

The main savings feature that the debt deal (the Budget Control Act) contained--outside of the joint committee--is the discretionary spending caps. With that in mind, OMB director Jack Lew took to the OMBlog today to explain the distribution of those cuts between defense and non-defense spending (or security and non-security spending if you'd prefer).

August 4, 2011

The debt deal signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday has provoked all kinds of reactions from the media, the public, and lawmakers (click here for CRFB's reaction). Given the importance of the deal and the fact that CRFB's board is full of leading budget experts, it's no surprise that many of our board members have been called on to express their views about the deal and what lies ahead.

August 3, 2011

Last night on The Colbert Report, David Leonhardt of The New York Times talked about the debt deal recently signed into law and why it's not enough to restore our nation's fiscal health or save our credit rating.

Host Stephen Colbert also had some interesting comments about the deal -- we particularly enjoyed his observation that "we made the hard choice to make the hard cuts later".

 

August 3, 2011

Update: Howard Gleckman of Tax Policy Center has blogged on their paper over at TaxVox.

August 3, 2011
The Debt Crisis, Merely Postponed

In an op-ed in today's New York Times, CRFB board members and former fiscal commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson offered their take on the debt-ceiling deal that was enacted into law yesterday.

August 2, 2011
Debt Deal: We Can, and Must, Do Better

In her latest CNN commentary, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas stresses that Washington must do better than the debt deal recently approved by Congress. She writes that the deal saves only about half of what is needed and momentum that was building toward a "grand bargain" was sqandered by lawmakers' unwillingness to compromise and make difficult political choices.

August 2, 2011

Update: President Obama has signed the deal into law.

August 2, 2011
Who Won and Lost in the Debt Deal?

In today's Washington Post, several contributors offered their thoughts on the recent debt deal reached by leaders in Washington to raise the debt ceiling. Among the contributors were CRFB board members Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson and CRFB president Maya MacGuineas.

August 1, 2011

We have a deal (pending votes, of course). (UPDATE: CRFB has a press release on this deal here)

August 1, 2011
A Weekly Update on Fiscal Policy Developments

Breakthrough? – There were tough negotiations. Deals were made. Big names were moved. It wasn’t just the MLB and NFL that saw frenetic action ahead of deadlines. The approaching August 2 debt limit deadline has had policymakers scurrying to reach an agreement as nervous voters and markets watch. Yet, unlike Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth, the debt ceiling remains a presence in DC as the deadline nears.

July 30, 2011

Update: CBO has just released its own comparison table of the Reid and Boehner plans, where it now breaks out the war and non-war interest savings under Reid's plan. This blog has been updated from its original posting to reflect the new numbers.

 

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