The Bottom Line

February 15, 2012

Continuing on in our blog series, we will be discussing discretionary spending proposals in the President's budget.

February 14, 2012

This installment of the FY 2013 Budget Series focuses on some of the budget process reform proposals buried deep in the Analytical Perspectives section (chapter 14, to be exact) of the President’s budget. We have long argued that reforms to the budget process are not the solution to the mounting debt the country continues to accumulate.

February 13, 2012
A Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Big Day – Today is the big day in budget world. The White House released its fiscal year 2013 budget request. As you can imagine, CRFB has been busy going through the numbers and proposals. CRFB issued a statement earlier today with initial analysis and a paper examining the request is forthcoming. The budget would stabilize the debt at 76% of GDP in 2022.

February 13, 2012

It's no secret that the conference committee tasked with finding solutions for the expiring 2-month fix for the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and the doc fix is having a difficult time agreeing on how to offset the costs of any extensions. But just because coming to an agreement isn't easy doesn't mean it's time to abandon offsets altogether. 

February 13, 2012

With President Obama's FY 2013 budget out in the open for review (see our initial reaction and analysis) we will now more closely examine many aspects of the budget in a blog series over the coming week. Our first blog will introduce the broad framework.

February 13, 2012

CRFB has just released its press release on the President's budget, including some basic analysis of the fiscal trajectory. The budget includes deficits of $6.7 trillion from 2013-2022 and would stabilize debt at over 76 percent of GDP later this decade. 

February 10, 2012

In a post earlier this week detailing what's known about the President's budget, we discussed policies that were likely to appear on Monday. Now, the National Journal (via The Wall Street Journal) has more details (subscription required) about some of the numbers we may see come Monday.

February 10, 2012

Just when you thought you've seen it all, here's Clint Eastwood on CNBC's "Squawkbox" this morning touting the Fiscal Commission plan. Given the large deficits we face, he supports the idea of bringing it back up for consideration. See the full video below.

 

February 9, 2012

Expedited rescission authority, a cousin of the line-item veto, has been considered countless times by Congress since the line item veto was declared unconstitutional in 1998. In fact, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas recently testified on this proposal, which can be found here. Yesterday, it has passed the House by a 254-173 vote.

February 8, 2012

With less than a week before the President's budget comes out The Wall Street Journal has reported that it will be similar to the September submission to the Super Committee.

February 8, 2012

Harvard Law School professor Howell Jackson has an interesting idea in a Reuters op-ed: if fiscal issues are going to be extremely important in the coming years, why not create a process that would encourage Presidential candidates to come up with a fiscal plan?

February 7, 2012

Military pensions for high-ranking officers are going up significantly, according to a USA Today article. Due to a change in the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 that was intended to dispel concerns about losing too much of the top brass during wartime, pensions increased by as much as 63 percent for some officers.

February 6, 2012

The McKinsey Global Institute recently released a report assessing the efforts of the world’s ten largest mature economies (United States, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia, and South Korea) in deleveraging (essentially, reducing debt) in the aftermath of the great recession.

February 6, 2012
A Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Baseline Instinct – The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday released its much-awaited 2012 Budget and Economic Outlook. According to CBO, if current law is maintained, deficits will decrease significantly in the period from 2013-2022; but that is a big if. Under the current law baseline, a major reason that deficits will shrink is due to major revenue boosts because the 2001/2003 tax cuts will expire and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will hit more middle-income families.

February 3, 2012

Over the course of this week, we have been discussing CBO's recent Budget and Economic Outlook. On Tuesday, we summarized the report and released a paper that walked through the details.

February 3, 2012

Supporters of enacting a comprehensive deficit reduction plan got a boost yesterday from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. At a hearing with the House Budget Committee on the economic outlook, Bernanke responded to a question from Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) about the need for a large fiscal plan. He said the following (at the 58:45 mark of the video):

February 2, 2012

We noted earlier this week that CBO's current law economic assumptions in the near-term do not look very stellar, especially in 2013 when the economy is scheduled to absorb a large fiscal shock as a large number of tax cuts expire and the "sequester" resulting from the failure of the Super Committee cuts spending automatically across-the-board.

February 2, 2012

The good folks at the Tax Policy Center have written yet another enlightening report on tax expenditures. This one, titled, "Curbing Tax Expenditures" analyzes the current mess that is the tax expenditure "budget". Tax expenditures -- the various credits, deductions and loopholes that are littered throughout our tax code -- tend to be expensive, regressive, and economically distortionary. Their existence comes at the expense of less debt and lower marginal tax rates.

February 2, 2012

CRFB board member Rudolph Penner recently co-authored a paper that is essentially a retrospective on the 2011 deficit debate. He and Urban Institute colleague John Palmer compared the President's Framework and the House Budget Resolution while also discussing the Budget Control Act that passed in August.

They describe the premise of the paper below:

February 2, 2012

The conference committee that is tasked with extending various provisions that are set to expire at the end of this month will meet for the third time. They will be taking up the payroll tax cut, the doc fix, extended unemployment benefits, and possibly various expiring tax provisions that expired at the end of last year.

You can watch the video on C-SPAN.org here.

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