The Bottom Line

September 13, 2011

UPDATE: The Super Committee hearing has begun and is streaming live on the Super Committee's website and on C-SPAN3.

September 13, 2011

Yesterday, the President offered a plan for how he would pay for his $447 billion jobs proposal. The pay-fors would come entirely from revenues, mainly from limiting itemized deductions and other tax expenditures for people earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for families) per year.

September 13, 2011
A Weekly Update on Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Are You Ready for Some (Political) Football? – Football season got underway this weekend with hard-hitting action and thrilling finishes. Additionally, the Super Committee kicks off its work in earnest this week. The games on Capitol Hill are no less fierce than those on the gridiron, but how it all ends is still in question. There are more twists and turns to the budget drama than there are GOP presidential debates (there was another last night). Meanwhile, policymakers are trying to play offense with the economy while defending against the growing national debt.

September 12, 2011

Following CRFB's theme of urging the Super Committee to "go big," a group of more than 60 former lawmakers, policymakers, economists and business leaders have signed a letter to the committee's co-chairs, urging them to exceed their mandate and put our country on a sustainable fiscal path.

September 12, 2011

Update: Click here to watch C-SPAN's video of the press conference.

September 9, 2011

Yesterday evening, President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress to propose his newest economic recovery measure -- The American Jobs Act. The President's bill would have a $447 billion ten-year cost, which the President says would be fully paid for in the proposal he will give to the Super Committee a week from Monday recommending the Committee exceed its $1.5 trillion mandate.

September 8, 2011

In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, CRFB put out its expectations for the Super Committee, urging them to Go Big! Given the severity of our debt challenge, enacting only $1.5 trillion savings over the next ten years is not enough. Compared to our Realistic Baseline, this amount would keep debt on an upward path relative to the economy, both over the medium-term and the long-term. 

September 8, 2011

As the first meeting of the Super Committee has come and gone, it is important to take a look at the policies that they could consider. CRFB's table of overlapping policies, which appears in our recent paper on what we hope to see from the Super Committee, is a great resource for looking at the sort of ideas that will get some attention in the upcoming negotiations.

September 7, 2011

Update: CRFB's newest policy paper, What We Hope to See from the Super Committee, shows CRFB Realistic projections for spending by category and revenues over the long-term. Check out the graph (posted below) and the rest of our recommendations!

In light of the Budget Control Act (BCA) that passed one month ago and updated budget and economic projections from CBO, CRFB has updated its 75-year Realistic Baseline.

September 7, 2011

Leading up to President Obama’s job speech tomorrow evening, there has been much speculation as to the measures the president will propose. The current expectations are that he will suggest a $200 - 300 billion jobs plan, including extensions of the payroll tax holiday, unemployment insurance, and certain business incentives.

September 6, 2011

Starting in just a few minutes, Business Roundtable (BRT) will host a forum on the deficit -- “Meeting the Challenges of Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” -- wherein experts will look at the work facing the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Super Committee). The event will feature three panels, looking at the committee’s mandate, how the committee may meet their goals and what cuts or reforms might be in play, and tax reform and economic growth.

September 6, 2011
A Weekly Update on Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Back to Work – Labor Day is behind us, but a lot of work lies ahead. Congress returns from its August recess this week with jobs on the top of the agenda, but budget matters are not far behind. Congress must act on the fiscal year 2012 budget before the end of the month and the deficit reduction Super Committee is ramping up its efforts.

September 6, 2011

In the wake of Hurricane Irene and last week's job report, calls for Washington to enact some form of emergency spending measures have intensified. Given recent events and the weak economy, such measures may indeed be warranted. Given our country's fiscal situation, however, we cannot afford to add to our already massive debt burden.

September 2, 2011

Back in February, we dinged the President's budget for relying on overly optimistic economic assumptions in 2012 and beyond. CBO's Analysis of the President's budget showed much higher deficits, in part because they used different assumptions about economic growth and employment.

September 2, 2011

Under the Administration's Mid-Session Review, the gap between spending and revenues is set to persist throughout the decade with barely any change in that gap, even if potentially $1.5 trillion in savings from the Super Committee materializes. Also noteworthy is that both spending and revenues will exceed their historical averages over the past few decades of about 21 percent of GDP for spending and about 18 percent of GDP for revenues.

September 1, 2011

OMB has just released its Mid-Session Review, incorporating the effects of the Budget Control Act and the Super Committee's target savings into its projections. The MSR shows significant improvement compared to the President's Budget, although deficits obviously are higher than under CBO's current law estimates.

September 1, 2011

The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, created by Congress in 2008, has issued its final report, showing that there has been anywhere from $30 billion to $60 billion lost due to contract waste or fraud associated with the wars. Luckily, the report not only details the problems that have arisen with contracting over the past decade, but also gives fifteen recommendations on how to remedy the poor performance.

August 31, 2011

The destruction and devastation caused by Hurricane Irene is of serious concern, and addressing it will come at a real cost. Yet even while both parties agree that more federal money will be necessary to help pay for relief and recovery, some have argued that these additional costs must be offset through other spending cuts.

August 31, 2011

It's no secret that taxes will be a central element in national politics over the next fourteen months leading up to the Presidential election. With that in mind, Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is prepared to offer up a comprehensive tax reform plan.

August 30, 2011

In a joint press release this morning, Super Committee co-chairs Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced that Mark Prater will serve as staff director for the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (click here for full list of members). Mr.

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