The Bottom Line

February 6, 2014

In CBO's 2014 Budget and Economic Outlook released this week, they addressed the future of the federal government's largest program, Social Security. Social Security has two separate trust funds: one for Old Age and Survivors Insurance and one for Disability Insurance. It is clear from CBO's analysis that both face mounting fiscal challenges in the coming years.

February 6, 2014

Yesterday, we updated our Q&A: Everything You Needed To Know About the Debt Ceiling to reflect the newest date for the debt ceiling, which will be reinstated after February 7. The debt ceiling was suspended in mid-October, following a partial government shutdown, and will be reinstated on Friday. This suspension will result in a de facto $600 billion increase, putting the new debt ceiling at approximately $17.3 trillion.

February 6, 2014

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its annual report on the federal budget, which outlines their projections of all federal spending and revenues over the next 10 years and serves as a baseline against which to measure all of this year's legislation. The report showed that the deficit is expected to fall by $166 billion since last year, from $680 billion in 2013 to $514 billion in 2014.

February 6, 2014

This afternoon, the Senate is expected to vote on an extension of unemployment insurance, offset with so-called "pension smoothing" - a timing shift which doesn't actually reduce the debt.

February 5, 2014

Soon, the Senate may consider the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act legislation (the CBO scoring is available here) introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to reverse the military retirement reforms from the Bipartisan Budget Act and creat

February 5, 2014

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported a significantly bleaker fiscal picture than they had projected just last year, with debt now rising to 79.2 percent of the economy by 2024.

February 5, 2014

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee this morning following CBO's release of the 2014 Budget and Economic Outlook on Tuesday. In his opening statement, Director Elmendorf addressed CBO’s projection of a return to rising deficits beginning in Fiscal Year 2016.

February 5, 2014

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its 2014 Budget and Economic Outlook, serving as a budget baseline for the new year. To help make sense of the 182-page dense but informative report, CRFB has released a concise 7-page analysis that puts the new numbers in perspective.

February 4, 2014

The CBO's baseline released today shows how spending is expected to grow over time and where that growth occurs in the federal budget. In general, spending grows from 20.8 percent of GDP in 2013 to 22.4 percent by 2024. However, different categories of spending have much different fates within the overall total.

February 4, 2014

The Super Bowl was held last Sunday, and the Olympics are coming up in a few days, but the biggest event this week happened today as CBO released its latest budget and economic projections for the next ten years. The odd scheduling of budget projection releases last year meant that there was no August update of the baseline, as there usually is, so these are the first projections in almost nine months.

February 3, 2014

This morning, Secretary Lew spoke at the Bipartisan Policy Center about the imparative need to raising the debt ceiling, which has been suspended and is reinstated on February 7. At that point, the limit will be $17.3 trillion, according to estimates from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

February 3, 2014

Note: This blog has been updated to talk about the first blog post in the series.

For those in the budget world, today is not just the day after the Super Bowl, it's also Budget Day...sort of. The 1974 Budget Act technically requires the President's budget to be submitted on the first Monday in February, but with the delay in resolving appropriations, the budget will be delayed this year until next month.

January 31, 2014

Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently released a legislative proposal that would repeal and replace the majority of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), although leaving in place the ACA's Medicare reforms.

January 31, 2014

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus laments the lack of discussion of fiscal issues in President Obama's State of the Union address.

January 30, 2014
Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Making a Statement – President Obama gave the State of the Union address on Tuesday. While he presented an optimistic message of action to promote growth and opportunity, the speech also made clear the reality that expectations for legislative action were low in this election year. The president highlighted several unilateral actions he would take by executive order.

January 30, 2014

When Congress ended the government shutdown last October, they also suspended the debt ceiling through February 7th, which is now only a week away. After that date, the debt limit will be reinstated at about $17.3 trillion, according to estimates from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). After that date, Treasury can still use "extraordinary measures" to continue paying the nation's bills for a limited amount of time.

January 30, 2014

While the President's 2014 State of the Union address largely eschewed talking about fiscal policy directly, it did touch on a number of proposals that would impact the federal budget. In this blog, we will talk about the potential costs or savings of various policies he mentioned.

Business Tax Reform

January 29, 2014

Last night, President Obama gave his State of the Union address to Congress, which mentioned fiscal policy on a several occasions. As one of the nation's accomplishments, he noted that "our deficits [have been] cut by more than half." This is not the first time the President has made reference to the recent decline in deficits.

January 29, 2014

Yesterday, President Obama addressed the nation in his sixth State of the Union address. Unsurprisingly, the main focus of his speech was not on our country's fiscal issues and national debt, but instead on restoring opportunity and equality to all Americans. However, we were still disappointed the President spent so little time discussing the major fiscal issues facing the country such as growing entitlements and reforming an outdated tax code.

January 29, 2014

In yesterday's State of the Union address, the President called for extending unemployment benefits that expired in December, which would affect roughly 1.6 million long-term unemployed people. Lawmakers were unable to agree upon an extension last December, when the emergency unemployment compensation program—originally passed in 2008—expired.

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