The Bottom Line

May 20, 2011

In a release today, CRFB highlighted the overlapping policies between the most prominent fiscal plans, identifying over $1 trillion in commonalities.

CRFB argues that what the country really needs is a $4 trillion-plus deficit reduction plan.

May 20, 2011

Yesterday, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) released a proposal to reform the Medicaid program. Their proposal is in some ways similar to the Medicaid changes incorporated in the House Republican budget.

May 19, 2011

Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner gave a speech about the unsustainability of our country's current fiscal path. Speaking at the Harvard Club in New York City, Secretary Geithner talked about the severity of our fiscal problems, the consequences of delaying action, and what will ultimately have to be done to restore fiscal responsibility.

May 19, 2011

Taking a break from all the recent developments in the budget and fiscal policy world, we take a quick turn to our Spotlight on the States blog series to see what budget battles in Ohio have been focusing on, and the possible solutions.

May 18, 2011

In the past few days, CBO has released a few documents that might be of interest to budget wonks.

The first is a further analysis of the final FY 2011 spending agreement that was passed a month ago. The estimate not only shows CBO's updated discretionary spending estimates for this year, but also what discretionary spending will be over ten years using CBO's baseline convention of inflation growth.

May 17, 2011

Last week, several bloggers, commentators, and columnists went after Al Simpson for talking about increases in life expectancy at birth (since this measure is affected by child mortality rates), arguing instead that the better measure is life expectancy

May 16, 2011

Update: Check out our release on these "commonalities" here.

May 16, 2011

Last Friday, CRFB highlighted the 2011 Social Security trustees report in a paper outlining the projections and important changes from last year. We found the program to be on an unsustainable path, even more so than last year's Trustees estimated. But there's another program growing unsustainably that the Trustees also oversee -- Medicare.

May 16, 2011

Crunch Time – The playoffs are well underway in the NBA and NHL. A playoff atmosphere is also brewing in Washington even though the home teams are not in the picture. A debt limit deadline and several teams competing for debt reduction glory are creating an air of anticipation and trepidation. Who will go home and who will go all the way?

May 13, 2011

With the release of the 2011 OASDI Trustees Report, there are a lot of numbers to digest, not to mention a few hundred pages to read (if you actually want to go through the whole thing). Fortunately, for our readers, CRFB has released its analysis of the report, which breaks down the important points.

May 13, 2011

Building on a report he made last year on budget process reform, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) has taken the next step in his crusade to fix the budget. The sequel is a report with a comprehensive list of 60 recommendations on how to help put our budget on a more sustainable path. These recommendations run the gamut of options, covering most areas of the budget.

May 13, 2011

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) has an op-ed in the Washington Post today in which he writes about just how serious our nation's fiscal problems are and the kind of leadership necessary to bring us back from the brink, while praising the Fiscal Commission for achieving bipartisan support for its outline to reduce the debt and applauding the efforts of the "Gang of Six" in the Senate for trying to tackle the polit

May 12, 2011

Yesterday, Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) introduced deficit reduction legislation -- the One Percent Spending Reduction Act -- that is based on the "One Cent Solution." The proposal is a simple one: cut non-interest spending by one percent each year for six years starting in 2012.

May 12, 2011

As part of a larger deficit-reduction effort, last month President Obama proposed cutting $400 billion from projected defense spending by 2023. Speaking at a conference in New York yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said that the Department of Defense (DoD) must now find ways to cut spending without affecting overall defense capability and effectiveness.

May 12, 2011

Update: Chuck Blahous joined the debate today in a piece over at e21, setting the facts straight on longevity increases, the retirement age, and how exactly the Fiscal Commission's plan would affect retirement benefits.

May 11, 2011
A Midweek Update on Federal Fiscal and Budget Policy Developments

No Deficit of Talk – At least there no longer is a deficit of discussion when it comes to our fiscal situation. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gave a major address Monday night to the Economic Club of New York where he said that increasing the statutory debt limit should be accompanied by spending cuts greater than the amount of the debt limit increase.

May 11, 2011
The Case for the Chained CPI

Today, the Moment of Truth project released a paper outlining the case for indexing federal programs to a more accurate measure of inflation, the chained CPI. Currently, many parts of the federal government -- including parts the tax code, Social Security, and many other programs -- are indexed for changes in either the CPI-U or CPI-W -- even though most economists believe these measures actually overstate inflation.

May 10, 2011

This morning, The Heritage Foundation released a comprehensive fiscal plan aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit by significantly cutting spending and reducing the overall size of government.

May 10, 2011

At 10:00am today, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Social Security reform titled "Perspectives on Deficit Reduction: Social Security." Witnesses will include James Roosevelt, Jr. from Tufts Health Plan, Chuck Blahous from the Hoover Institute, Nancy Altman of the Pension Rights Campaign and the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, and Alex Brill from the American Enterprise Institute.

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