The Bottom Line

February 27, 2012
Can Tax Reform Save the U.S. Economy?

Were it not for the growth in spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the United States wouldn't have much of a budget problem. The two biggest programs—Social Security and Medicare—are retirement programs that are extremely popular politically. Both need to be reformed, but they cannot be cut abruptly and they cannot be cut drastically. Consequently, it's hard to avoid concluding that some revenue increases will be needed to solve our fiscal problems.

February 24, 2012

True to this year's State of the Union address, the Obama Administration released a proposal Wednesday that seeks to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent while eliminating many loopholes and broadening the base.

February 24, 2012

Several developments this week give us hope that this election season will offer some much-needed focus on fiscal policy. Although exit/entrance polls from each state that has voted in the primaries so far have indicated that the federal budget deficit is the number two most important issue for voters behind the economy/jobs, there has yet to be much substantive discussion of the topic on the campaign trail. But that might be changing.

February 22, 2012
Watch It Live Here

This morning, CRFB’s U.S. Budget Watch project will unveil Primary Colors: The GOP Candidates and the National Debt, a study of the policy proposals of the four major Republican presidential candidates and their impact on the national debt. President Obama will be included in a forthcoming report. (For an addendum on Governor Romney's 2/22 tax plan, click here).

February 21, 2012

President Obama’s campaign made a splash this morning with their claims that Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney would dramatically increase the national debt as president.

February 21, 2012

Update: Watch the live stream below.

Today in Boston, CRFB kicks off a national tour of policymakers, fiscal experts, and business leaders as part of the national “Go Big” campaign pushing for a major deficit reduction deal in 2012.

February 20, 2012
A Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Happy Presidents Day – As we honor those who have led this country, the race to become the next in that line is becoming more heated. And federal budget and fiscal issues are at the heart of the campaign. Voters consistently rank deficits/debt as the second most important issue, and it is closely tied to the top issue – economy/jobs. The decisions made now towards aiding the recovery could have a significant effect on the long-term budget outlook, and fiscal decisions will impact the economy.

February 20, 2012

In our paper on the President's budget, we noted that the budget would only temporarily stabilize the debt as a percent of GDP. In fact, it would rise from roughly 77 percent in 2022 to 93 percent in 2035 and about 125 percent in 2050. Where did those numbers come from?

February 17, 2012

In what is being hailed as a demonstration of bipartisanship, Congress broke its previous commitment to deficit-neutrality and agreed to a bill (HR 3630) that would dig a bigger fiscal hole. The bill, which extends the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance benefits, and "doc fix" through the end of the year, passed the House by a 293-132 vote and passed the Senate by a 60-36 vote today. 

February 17, 2012

This week, in our blog series on the President's budget, we have talked about the overall numbers in the President's budget and the amount of savings from each budget area. Today, we will go more in-depth into the largest area of savings in the budget: tax policy.

February 17, 2012
The Fiscal Consequences of the GOP Candidates' Platforms

On Thursday, February 23, CRFB’s US Budget Watch project will unveil its study of the budgetary impact of the campaign promises of the major Republican presidential candidates. RSVP for this event, which will take place at 9:30 am, to see all the analysis as well as a discussion with veteran budget experts Vic Fazio, Bill Frenzel, and Alice Rivlin.

February 16, 2012

Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) came out with a Medicare proposal today that adds to the list of plans out there to rein in the cost of the program.

February 16, 2012

In our continued analysis of the President’s budget, we now move to a detailed examination of what the budget would look like at the end of the ten-year window in 2022 and how it would change from today.

February 16, 2012

Since the release of the President’s FY 2013 budget on Monday, CRFB has provided coverage of the President’s proposal through our FY 2013 blog series.

February 15, 2012

Update: The House has approved the payroll-tax deal 293-132.

February 15, 2012

Last year, when the President's budget used overly optimistic economic assumptions and various magic asterisks, we re-estimated their budget using more realistic assumptions. As it turns out, our estimates were quite close to CBO's estimate of the President's budget; the President claimed to get debt down to 77 percent of GDP by 2021, we estimated it would be at 87.4 percent, and CBO found it would get to 87.5 percent.

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. 

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