The Bottom Line

January 23, 2012

Continuing their efforts to close budget gaps, states across the country have looked to public pension reform as part of a possible solution. Among the states considering such reforms are Illinois, California and New York.

January 20, 2012

Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) recently put out a tax reform plan that focuses on corporate taxes, but includes some individual provisions as well. The aims of his proposal, he says, are to "reduce tax rates for job creators, limit subsidies that promote excessive leverage, and phase out tax policies that encourage larger state and local governments."

January 19, 2012

Both CBO and OMB in the last week released sequestration reports, technical reports that detail whether the government is adhering to discretionary spending caps. Normally, these are unnoteworthy reports, but there is a small detail in the most recent ones that is worth noting.

January 19, 2012

After evaluating Mitt Romney's, Newt Gingrich's, Rick Perry's, and Herman Cain's proposals, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) has put out another analysis of a Republican presidential candidate's plan, this time Rick Santorum.

January 19, 2012

Earlier this week, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released a letter to the President and leaders in Congress, urging them to "Go Big" and enact a bold, comprehensive fiscal plan to reduce our nation's debt and deficits. The letter stated that while the savings from the Budget Control Act were a start, a more comprehensive approach will be needed to ensure long-term fiscal stability.

January 18, 2012

In order to avoid bumping up against the statutory debt ceiling, the Department of the Treasury has begun undertaking a number of so-called "extraordinary measures". Keep checking back as we update this table (and here for the 2012 Debt Ceiling Watch).

 

January 18, 2012

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) has been a member of CRFB's Announcement Effect Club since June of last year. During a briefing on the Hill yesterday, Rep. Hoyer reaffirmed his position in the club when he pointed out that simply committing to a balanced and comprehensive fiscal plan could do a lot to restore confidence in the U.S. economy.

January 17, 2012

Jeff Zients will once again ascend to the role of acting OMB director, according to a blog post on OMB's website. Zients had previously stepped into that role in 2010 during the gap between Peter Orszag's and Jacob Lew's tenures as director. Otherwise, he has been serving in the roles of Deputy Director of Management and Chief Performance Officer for nearly three years.

January 17, 2012
A Weekly Update on Budget and Fiscal Policy Developments and a Look Ahead

Playoffs in Full Swing – The Packers packed it in; the Broncos got busted; the Saints went marching out; and Houston had a problem as the NFL Playoffs eliminated more contenders in the annual march towards crowning a champion. Challengers were eliminated in the presidential contest as well as former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman backed out and more may fall away after Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

January 17, 2012

As lawmakers slowly return to town this week and next week, there will be an increasing focus on possible offsets for any extensions to expiring policies. An Associated Press article today lays out some of the possibilities that Congress will have for nickle-and-diming their way to offsetting the extenders they must pass next month.

January 13, 2012

In last year's State of the Union speech, President Obama promised to reorganize the government by consolidating agencies that had duplicative functions or otherwise overlapped. Of course, that plan fell by the wayside after the Administration spent much of the next six months in budget negotiations involving appropriations and the debt limit. After that was over, there were no mentions of the reorganization plan, and it seemed to have been abandoned...until now.

January 13, 2012

CRFB board member Roy L. Ash passed away last month at his home in Los Angeles. Mr. Ash was 93 years old and died of Parkinson's disease.  

Mr. Ash co-founded Litton Industries, where he served as its director and president until 1972. He later became chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization, which led to the creation of the Office of Management and Budget. From 1972-1975, he served as OMB director during the Nixon and Ford administrations.

January 12, 2012

The Internal Revenue Service report on the 2006 tax gap, showing $385 billion (about 15 percent) of missing revenue, has made its rounds, sparking debate about the IRS budget. Just yesterday, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson weighed in, saying that the IRS was over-burdened and under-funded for the job it was trying to do.

January 12, 2012

The most recent focus of President Obama's initiatives has been on "insourcing," or providing incentives to companies to bring jobs back to the US from overseas. According to CNN's article, the proposal, which will come in a few weeks and surely be included in the President's budget, will work on both sides of the equation: providing incentives to companies who bring business back home and eliminating incentives for companies that do the opposite.

January 11, 2012
A Look at CBO's Report on Raising Eligibility Ages

Over the past couple of years, we've been arguing that raising the Social Security and Medicare ages could be an important part of a fiscal reform agenda.

January 11, 2012

Readers of this blog will be familiar with the Zero Plan from the Fiscal Commission's tax reform effort.

January 11, 2012

Yesterday, in the preliminary assessment of its 2011 balance sheet, the Federal Reserve reported that it would be sending $77 billion in 2011 profits back to the U.S. Treasury. While this is down slightly from the record high of $79 billion sent to Treasury in 2010, it is still a much larger return than in any other year in the 2000s, and more than double the average annual remittance of $36 billion over the 2000-2011 period ($28 billion average if 2010 and 2011 are excluded). 

January 10, 2012

You may have already read the news yesterday, but current OMB director Jack Lew will be replacing Bill Daley as President Obama's chief of staff at the end of January.

January 10, 2012

In 2009, President Obama created the SAVE Award (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency), which is given each year to the federal employee who submits the best idea to increase government efficiency and ensure that taxpayers' money is being spent wisely.

January 9, 2012

Remember when we said last November that Congress had a lot to do by the end of the year? Well, they took care of FY 2012 appropriations, but everything else is now left to be determined or temporarily extended by the end of February (at least they have an extra day). The payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and doc fix extensions that passed will expire by February 29 and there could even be pressure to extend the AMT patch and the "tax extenders" that were neglected last month.

Syndicate content