The Bottom Line

November 10, 2011

How does an average American get more involved in the Go Big effort? 

Today, CRFB posted a Citizens' Resource Page to answer just that. As you can expect from the name, the page provides a number of resources for citizens to get engaged in the deficit debate and plenty of links to educational resources and information about the budget.

November 9, 2011

Congressman Chaffetz (R-UT) has just proposed a Social Security reform plan to restore solvency to the program. The plan relies on reforms to the benefit side of the equation and calls for slowing the growth of benefits for higher-earners, increasing the numbers of years over which benefits are calculated, fixing the cost-of-living calculation by switching to the chained CPI, and enhancing benefits for lower-income earners and the very old, among other changes.

November 9, 2011

We hope all of our beloved and faithful readers have been following the conversation developing between us and some other experts, notably at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and at the Washington Post, over the past few days over how to reduce federal health costs while protecting the disadvantaged. It's a very important issue, and we thank these experts for joining in the conversation.

November 9, 2011

Today, CRFB board member and former budget director for Ronald Reagan, David Stockman, along with the former head of SEIU, Andy Stern, wrote an op-ed for CNN  entitled: "If even we can agree on a big budget plan, so can Congress." Pointing to their varied backgrounds, the two authors promote a "Go big" approach, calling for $4 trillion in deficit reduction that includes both spending cuts and revenue measures.

November 9, 2011

With the Super Committee deadline still two weeks away, President Obama seems to be unable to wait to get some savings on the board. Today, he signed an executive order directing agencies to reduce costs in five specified areas of their budget considered to include wasteful or unnecessary spending, to which they must make 20 percent reductions by FY 2013.

November 8, 2011

Today at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress and the American Action Forum, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on the federal government and Super Committee to go way beyond the $1.2 trillion in mandated savings to enact real reform. In his speech, he presented his own plan for how to control debt and to eventually balance the budget by 2021.

November 7, 2011

If the Super Committee fails, an automatic cut of $1.2 trillion over ten years (or whatever the difference is between the agreed upon cuts and $1.2 trillion) will be put into place starting in 2013. These cuts would be more or less across-the-board with non-interest savings stemming from defense and non-defense, though with notable exceptions.

November 7, 2011

As policymakers look to "Go Smart" in putting together a deficit reduction package, there is no better place to look than tax reform; and in particular, corporate tax reform.

November 7, 2011
A Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

It’s About Time – If you arrived to work an hour early today then you forgot to set your clock back this weekend. The opportunity to “fall back” and gain an extra hour of time is something that busy Americans can appreciate. If only it were so simple to move the debt clock back. What would we do if we could shave a trillion dollars off the national debt? Would we do anything different, or would we remain in our sleepy daze, like most of us did with that extra hour?

November 4, 2011

In his testimony to the Super Committee, Fiscal Commission co-chair Erskine Bowles floated a compromise plan which would, among other things, reduce health spending by $600 billion -- more than $100 billion more than the Fiscal Commission did.

November 4, 2011

According to The Hill, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled to Senate colleagues that he would be willing to support a $4 trillion plan. That sounds like a call for “Go Big” to us! This is a favorable change, given that earlier this week it was reported that he had favored a smaller $1.2 trillion package in savings.

November 3, 2011

Moody's issued a report the other day stating that failure by the Super Committee would not by itself cause them to strip the U.S. of its AAA rating, but that any outcome would factor into future ratings decisions. Essentially, failure can only hurt us, but success could greatly benefit us.

November 2, 2011

At the end of Tuesday's Super Committee hearing, Fiscal Commission co-chair and CRFB board member Erskine Bowles offered up top-line numbers representing a compromise between the Democratic and Republican offers to the Super Committee.

November 2, 2011

Today, Representatives Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) held a press conference to release a new letter to the Super Committee signed by 100 members of the House. The letter was a bipartisan effort, with roughly equal representation on each side, and calls for a $4 trillion package with everything on the table, including entitlement reforms and revenues.

November 2, 2011

With reports that the Super Committee has been considering reforms to Social Security, rhetoric from all sides of the issue has been heating up. This past weekend, the Washington Post ran an interesting article on Social Security, its trust fund and funding system, and its future insolvency.

November 1, 2011

At the end of the just-concluded hearing of the Super Committee, Fiscal Commission Co-Chair and CRFB Board Member Erskine Bowles presented his top-line numbers for a Go Big solution that could represent a compromise between both the Republican and Democratic offers on the Committee as its deadline draws near.

November 1, 2011

Today in Politico, all four of the CRFB Co-Chairs penned an op-ed entitled, To Deficit Panel: Go Big, Long and Smart. Bill Frenzel, Tim Penny, Jim Nussle, and Charlie Stenholm lay out the reasons why the Super Committee must Go Big, Go Long, and Go Smart (see our policy paper for a more in-depth view) and then explain why it is both smart economically and politically to do so.

November 1, 2011

Later today, the Super Committee will be holding another public hearing with Fiscal Commission co-chairs, Moment of Truth Project Advisors, and CRFB board members Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson testifying together with Alice Rivlin (another CRFB board member) and Pete Domenici, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force.

October 31, 2011
Take Action on Debt Before Fiscal Crisis Hits

Today's Roll Call included an op-ed by former Representative and current CRFB board member Vic Fazio. He discusses the need for fiscal reform right now, calling on his own party, Democrats, to address our fiscal challenges. He notes that the Super Committee may introduce recommendations that are painful for Democrats, but staying engaged in the process will lead to a plan that will be more agreeable to them.

October 31, 2011
A Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Happy Halloween – Anyone with kids, or anyone who enjoys scaring kids, knows that today is Halloween; the day of the year it is acceptable to wear hideous outfits and ask strangers for candy. Anyone who truly wants to scare people should dress up as the national debt. The numbers are frightening and the really spooky thing is that they are growing. With the deadline fast approaching, people are wondering if the Super Committee will have a treat, as in a deal that addresses the debt in a substantive manner, or a trick, such as no deal or one with gimmicks.

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