The Bottom Line

August 16, 2012

A week ago, the Campaign to Fix the Debt launched the "Citizen's Petition to Fix the Debt," demanding that Congressional leaders and the president work together to fix the debt. Today, over 92,000 concerned citizens have pledged their support for this effort. Over 50,000 signatures were gained in the first 48 hours alone.

August 15, 2012

There has been much discussion over the "Ryan Plan" since the House Budget Chairman was selected by Governor Romney to be his running-mate. However, there is not just one Ryan plan, but multiple iterations of the Congressman's proposals. They have evolved over time on specifics, although the overall approach has remained clear.

August 14, 2012

Seventy seven years ago today, the Social Security Act was signed into law. Over the life of the program, it has provided generations of Americans support and security once they reach retirement or if they are disabled. Unfortunately, no matter how you look at it, Social Security is now in dire need of reform. Every year, the Social Security Trustees warn us that changes need to be implemented as soon as possible in order to keep the program solvent.

August 14, 2012

Today, the Washington Post editorial board offers an insightful commentary on the current fiscal debate playing out between both political parties, as represented by the Obama and Romney campaigns.

August 13, 2012

Today, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates.

August 13, 2012

On Friday, we heard from two allies in the fight to put our nation’s fiscal house in order and fix the debt. In a C-SPAN interview, former Senator and Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-chair Judd Gregg (R-NH) shared his thoughts about the current economic climate and how a bipartisan solution on the debt from lawmakers in Washington could help set the economy on a stronger path in the near-term and long-term.

August 13, 2012

Governor Romney, on Saturday, announced that he was selecting House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate.

August 10, 2012

Earlier today, the New America Foundation held the event "Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget", focusing on Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel's book of the same name. The event also included CRFB senior policy director Marc Goldwein and was moderated by New America fellow Noam Scheiber.

August 10, 2012

The Campaign to Fix the Debt has launched a new and comprehensive petition demanding that Congressional leaders and the president work together to (you guessed it) fix the debt. The petition has six core tenants:

August 9, 2012

Not surprisingly, the policy world has been less than kind to a proposal to exempt Olympic winnings from taxation. After the proposal gained the support the chair of the Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) and President Obama, we satirically speculated the possible reasoning behind the exemption, namely to push those fourth place finishers onto the medal stand with some tax motivation.

August 9, 2012

CBO's Monthly Budget Review for July lays out how the first ten months of this fiscal year compared to last year. The FY 2012 deficit so far totals $975 billion, $125 billion lower than the $1.1 trillion at this point last year. The lower deficit is the result of revenue being $114 billion higher and spending actually being $11 billion lower.

August 8, 2012

Yesterday, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) sent a letter to his House colleagues urging them to adopt Simpson-Bowles as a way to stave off the fiscal cliff.

August 8, 2012

On Friday, join CRFB senior policy director Marc Goldwein as he discusses Wall Street Journal writer David Wessel's newest book Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget.

August 7, 2012

Are we really borrowing for free, and should we be taking advantage of it?

August 7, 2012

In a new investor note, Alec Philips of Goldman Sachs produced a useful new chart comparing three different scenarios for extending all the fiscal cliff and letting them all expire.

August 6, 2012

Even as lawmakers call for broadening the tax base, it seems like they keep proposing to narrow it. In the latest edition, there appears to be bipartisan support for new legislation to exempt Olympic athletes from paying taxes on their winnings. Sen.

August 6, 2012

As Congress heads toward another partisan showdown over the fiscal cliff, it is important to remember that there are plans that have received bipartisan support from current and former members of Congress and experts from both political parties. Just check out CRFB's comparison grid of fiscal plans. The plan put forward by Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles, for instance, was supported by a bipartisan supermajority of 11 out of the 18 Commission members, including four current and two former members of Congress, divided evenly between the parties.

August 3, 2012

A Wells Fargo market strategist joined the many business leaders supporting the Simpson-Bowles plan. Ron Florence, the Managing Director of Investment Strategy for Wells Fargo, commented on the damage that the threatening fiscal cliff is having on the economy and on the struggle for compromise.

August 3, 2012

Lawmakers, policy experts, and affected industries are righly concerned about the sequester that will hit both defense and non-defense spending across the board on January 2. On the defense side, though, a USA Today editorial expresses concern not for the cuts themselves, but for the across-the-board manner in which they are done. Here's their take:

August 2, 2012

Today, The New England Journal of Medicine published an interesting contrast of health proposals from leading health policy experts representing the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute. As you can imagine, the approaches to cost-control differed at times, but the two plans shared many of the same goals and targets for health reform.

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