The Bottom Line

October 3, 2013

The government is still shut down, the debt ceiling is fast approaching, and the need to put our debt on a sustainble path remains. This environment creates an opportunity for organizations to put forward a variety of budget options for lawmakers to consider. But because of the shutdown, a traditional supplier of those options is hamstrung.

October 2, 2013

As we enter day 2 of the government shutdown, Americans across the country are already feeling the impact. With federal government offices and services shut down throughout the nation, thousands of government employees are furloughed, and there is no clear answer in sight regarding when they will return to work. But what damage will a shutdown do to the economy?

October 2, 2013

 In order to avoid bumping up against the statutory debt ceiling, the Department of the Treasury has begun undertaking a number of so-called "extraordinary measures". The current debt limit is $16.394 trillion.

October 2, 2013

While it is incredibly disappointing that elected officials in Washington failed to avoid a government shutdown, attention is quickly turning towards raising the federal debt ceiling, which currently stands at $16.699 trillion.

October 2, 2013
American Nightmare

Former Comptroller General and CRFB Board Member David Walker writes in Public Finance International that the struggles in Detroit are a symbol of fiscal irresponsibility in other areas of government. Particularly with the federal government, lawmakers have put the country on a dangerous fiscal path over the last decade that cannot be sustained without negative consequences. Walker writes:

October 1, 2013

Today, October 1st, marks the first day of the 2014 fiscal year for the government, and the first day of a government shutdown in which 40 percent of government workers have been sent home. Over the past year, we (partially) dived over the fiscal cliff, saw the start of sequestration after it was delayed for two months, and still did not touch the long-term drivers of debt. Here are some of the important numbers from last fiscal year.

October 1, 2013

Today is the first October, first day of 2014 fiscal year, and because of the failure of Congress, the first day of the government shutdown. Yesterday, we were facing a unsustainable fiscal outlook and we were dealing with the consequences of sequestration. But today, things are needlessly worse. The following are now true:

September 30, 2013

As we explained this morning, the House of Representatives recently passed a continuing resolution funding the government at FY 2013 levels through mid-December. In order to garner support from enough House Republicans, the bill also contains three Affordable Care Act-related provisions – it delays implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a year, it includes a provision that delays for a year the requirement that insurance plans cover contraception, and it permanently repeals the medical device tax.

September 30, 2013
Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Not a Rockin’ Eve – Monday is New Year’s Eve...fiscally speaking as October 1 marks the beginning of Fiscal Year 2014. There may be a countdown, and a ball might even be dropped, but there will be no celebrating. Congress looks to go down to the wire in approving a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government in the new fiscal year. Instead of a New Years Rockin’ Eve, it will be more of a Blockin’ Eve as the House and Senate reject each other’s bills.

September 30, 2013

Today is September 30, the last day of the government's fiscal year. If Congress does not agree on a continuing resolution today to authorize spending for the next fiscal year, tomorrow the government will shut down.

On Friday, the Senate passed a continuing resolution that accepted the House-preferred level of spending at $986 billion (just below sequester levels for non-defense appropriations and $19 billion higher than sequester levels for defense), funding the government through November 15.

September 27, 2013

In light of CBO's updated long-term projections, and our subsequent CRFB Realistic Long-Term Projections, CRFB has taken a fresh look at the minimum savings lawmakers still need to enact to control the debt for both this decade and the long-term. The bottom line is that we need still another $2.2 trillion in savings over the next ten years to put the debt on a clear downward path, and about $13.5 trillion over the next 20 years.

September 27, 2013

At the House Budget Committee hearing on CBO's Long-Term Outlook, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), who last week sent a letter calling for action on Social Security, asked CBO director Doug Elmendorf about the cost of waiting for solutions on Social Security.

September 27, 2013

This is the ninth post in our blog series, The Tax Break-Down, which will analyze and review tax breaks under discussion as part of tax reform. Last week, we wrote about accelerated depreciation, the largest corporate tax break.

September 26, 2013

Last week, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced legislation that would increase taxes on multinational companies, and suggested that the revenue should be used as part of a sequester-replacement package. According to Sen. Levin's office, the bill S.

September 26, 2013

The release of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Long-Term Budget Outlook is one of the big events in the budget world, and we'd like to think that this blog is as well: the update of our CRFB Realistic Long-Term Baseline. Based off of the ten-year CRFB Realistic Baseline and CBO data, our long-term baseline draws a plausible path for where our future deficits and debt are headed.

September 25, 2013

Continuing with CRFB's analysis of CBO's latest long-term budget projections, we now turn our attention to one of the central themes throughout CBO's report: the consequences of large and growing federal debt. Under the CBO's extended baseline, federal debt held by the public will grow to 100 percent by 2038, and continue climbing.

September 25, 2013

As part of our blog series on CBO's recent long-term budget and economic projections, we now turn our focus to the fastest growing part of the budget over the next several decades: interest payments on the national debt. CRFB recently released a policy paper on federal interest spending and the potential risks involved with the federal budget. This post, however, will look at the latest projections from CBO.

September 25, 2013
Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Relying on the Kicking Game – The return of Congress to Washington has been about as productive as the return of RG3 to the football field for DC. The Redskins are 0-3 and lawmakers have yet to notch any wins themselves since returning from their summer recess. With two fiscal deadlines right around the corner, our leaders appear ready to punt as usual instead of going for the end zone.

September 24, 2013

Although some argue that policymakers can wait to solve our long-term entitlement problems, CBO's recent Long-Term Budget Outlook suggests otherwise. According to their projections, the Social Security program is in particular trouble -- and much worse than we thought. According to CBO's latest projections, the trust fund will become insolvent three years earlier than what we previously thought, and its long-term funding gap is 50 percent larger.

September 24, 2013

Congress faces a number of looming fiscal crises this fall, and the first obstacle is just around the corner -- if lawmakers fail to pass legislation to fund federal programs before September 30, the government will shut down.  Today, CRFB released a new Q&A for understanding government shutdowns and related issues, including continuing resolutions and the federal appropriations process.  This new resource also provides a historical and legislative background to the upcoming fiscal

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