The Bottom Line

November 19, 2012

President Obama met with Congressional leaders last Friday to begin working toward a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Reportedly, the talks had an optimistic tone, and leaders seem to be willing to reconcile their differences in the coming months. However, this was not the only development that took place at the end of last week.

November 19, 2012
Going Off the Fiscal Cliff Is Good Policy­—If You Like Unemployment

Former Congressman and CRFB Board Member Bill Frenzel has some advice for the so-called "fiscal cliff divers": don't even think about it! Going off the fiscal cliff would be terrible policy, with the sudden and blunt spending cuts and tax increases likely sending the U.S. into another recession.

November 16, 2012

Today, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation held a follow-up event to its 2011 Solutions Initiative, in which policy organizations presented plans to deal with the debt. Many of those same organizations updated their plans for this year to deal with replacing the fiscal cliff with a comprehensive plan.

November 16, 2012

In a new paper yesterday, we showed how policymakers could raise revenue exclusively from higher earners without increasing rates. Specifically, we showed three models which would phase in different types of tax expenditures caps on income above $200,000 ($250,000 for households) in a way that raised revenue similar to what would be generated by allowing the upper-income tax cuts to expire.

November 16, 2012

As was the case two years ago, the 2001/2003 tax cuts will be a hot topic in the lame duck session. Democrats would like to extend the full tax cuts only for people making less than $250,000, while Republicans would prefer to extend them fully for most everyone (leaving out refundable tax credit expansions from 2009).

November 15, 2012

Yesterday's The Hill reported on a letter that acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller sent to the heads of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. The main message: not patching the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) would be a nightmare.

November 15, 2012

A couple of months ago, The United States Conference of Mayors, through a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 149 mayors across the country, called on Congress to reach a comprehensive bipartisan debt deal.

November 14, 2012
Now that the Election is over, Let’s Fix the Country’s Debt Woes

Today, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas writes in The Hill that with the election now over, politicians can and should turn their attention to what voters are demanding: a resolution to the fiscal cliff and a comprehensive debt deal.

November 13, 2012

As the President, Congress, business, labor, and other civic leaders meet this week to discuss a "Grand Bargain" on the fiscal cliff and our unsustainable fiscal path, some commentators have been advising their sides not to compromise.

November 13, 2012

Last week, a letter from six organizations--the AARP, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Geriatrics Society, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and the Medicare Rights Center--urged Congress to override the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that is set to cut Medicare physician payments by 27 percent starting January 1.

November 12, 2012

The generational burden of debt is one of the best arguments for millennials to get involved with the issue of deficits and debt. We've noticed many younger voters have begin to speak in favor for a bipartisan plan to resolve our debt problem. In that vein, a grassroots campaign called The Can Kicks Back will formally launch today at 6 PM at The George Washington University.

November 12, 2012

On Friday, President Obama spoke on the need to replace the "fiscal cliff" with a comprehensive plan to address the nation's unsustainable fiscal path. Most importantly, President Obama announced that the White House would invite leaders from both parties, business groups, labor and civic groups from across the country for a meeting this week to begin working toward a compromise.

November 12, 2012
Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Answering the Call – Today is the federal government's observance of Veterans Day, the day the nation honors those who have served in the armed forces. CRFB salutes and thanks all veterans for their service. We hope our elected leaders and the rest of us can be inspired by the example of our veterans and strive to serve as best we can to make this nation stronger.

November 9, 2012

In light of our nation’s fiscal challenges, the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) has put together a report of policy options to address the long-term challenge posed by rising health care costs. The policy package, released yesterday, proposes 50 recommendations to reduce federal health care spending in the ten-year federal budget window, while building a sustainable and affordable health care system in the long-term.

November 9, 2012

CBO has released two new reports that detail our short run problem of the fiscal cliff and the long term challenge of reducing the debt. Reading the reports together gives a good idea of the challenges lawmakers face as they work to replace the fiscal cliff with a "grand bargain."

November 9, 2012

Yesterday, the AARP published a report and sent an accompanying letter to members of Congress and President Obama in opposition to switching to the chained CPI for calculating cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) f

November 8, 2012
Make a Deficit Deal Now

As the President and leaders of Congress begin to look for a compromise to replace the fiscal cliff, the next step is to decide what a compromise would look like. Fiscal Commisson co-chair and Fix the Debt co-founder Erskine Bowles writes that lawmakers do not have to reinvent the wheel to find models for bipartisian alternatives:

What does that alternative look like? We already have the blueprints.

November 8, 2012
Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff: Nothing is Sacrosanct

Former Oklahoma 1st District Congressman and CRFB Board Member Jim Jones penned an op-ed in today's Tulsa World calling for policymakers to put everything on the table for a plan to replace the fiscal cliff. Many members of Congress have just come off tough races, but as we saw yesterday the leadership in both chambers appears to be looking for a compromise.

November 8, 2012

Not long after Fitch sounded the alarm bells for the urgent need of a comprehensive debt deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Ways and Means Committee c

November 7, 2012

First off, CRFB would like to congratulate President Obama and all of those who were elected and re-elected to the Senate and the House. CRFB is looking forward to continue working with policymakers from both sides of the aisle to help make deficit reduction a reality.

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