The Bottom Line

August 13, 2012

Today, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates.

August 13, 2012

On Friday, we heard from two allies in the fight to put our nation’s fiscal house in order and fix the debt. In a C-SPAN interview, former Senator and Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-chair Judd Gregg (R-NH) shared his thoughts about the current economic climate and how a bipartisan solution on the debt from lawmakers in Washington could help set the economy on a stronger path in the near-term and long-term.

August 13, 2012

Governor Romney, on Saturday, announced that he was selecting House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate.

August 10, 2012

Earlier today, the New America Foundation held the event "Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget", focusing on Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel's book of the same name. The event also included CRFB senior policy director Marc Goldwein and was moderated by New America fellow Noam Scheiber.

August 10, 2012

The Campaign to Fix the Debt has launched a new and comprehensive petition demanding that Congressional leaders and the president work together to (you guessed it) fix the debt. The petition has six core tenants:

August 9, 2012

Not surprisingly, the policy world has been less than kind to a proposal to exempt Olympic winnings from taxation. After the proposal gained the support the chair of the Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) and President Obama, we satirically speculated the possible reasoning behind the exemption, namely to push those fourth place finishers onto the medal stand with some tax motivation.

August 9, 2012

CBO's Monthly Budget Review for July lays out how the first ten months of this fiscal year compared to last year. The FY 2012 deficit so far totals $975 billion, $125 billion lower than the $1.1 trillion at this point last year. The lower deficit is the result of revenue being $114 billion higher and spending actually being $11 billion lower.

August 8, 2012

Yesterday, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) sent a letter to his House colleagues urging them to adopt Simpson-Bowles as a way to stave off the fiscal cliff.

August 8, 2012

On Friday, join CRFB senior policy director Marc Goldwein as he discusses Wall Street Journal writer David Wessel's newest book Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget.

August 7, 2012

Are we really borrowing for free, and should we be taking advantage of it?

August 7, 2012

In a new investor note, Alec Philips of Goldman Sachs produced a useful new chart comparing three different scenarios for extending all the fiscal cliff and letting them all expire.

August 6, 2012

Even as lawmakers call for broadening the tax base, it seems like they keep proposing to narrow it. In the latest edition, there appears to be bipartisan support for new legislation to exempt Olympic athletes from paying taxes on their winnings. Sen.

August 6, 2012

As Congress heads toward another partisan showdown over the fiscal cliff, it is important to remember that there are plans that have received bipartisan support from current and former members of Congress and experts from both political parties. Just check out CRFB's comparison grid of fiscal plans. The plan put forward by Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles, for instance, was supported by a bipartisan supermajority of 11 out of the 18 Commission members, including four current and two former members of Congress, divided evenly between the parties.

August 3, 2012

A Wells Fargo market strategist joined the many business leaders supporting the Simpson-Bowles plan. Ron Florence, the Managing Director of Investment Strategy for Wells Fargo, commented on the damage that the threatening fiscal cliff is having on the economy and on the struggle for compromise.

August 3, 2012

Lawmakers, policy experts, and affected industries are righly concerned about the sequester that will hit both defense and non-defense spending across the board on January 2. On the defense side, though, a USA Today editorial expresses concern not for the cuts themselves, but for the across-the-board manner in which they are done. Here's their take:

August 2, 2012

Today, The New England Journal of Medicine published an interesting contrast of health proposals from leading health policy experts representing the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute. As you can imagine, the approaches to cost-control differed at times, but the two plans shared many of the same goals and targets for health reform.

August 2, 2012

Today Campaign to Fix the Debt co-chairs Judd Gregg and Ed Rendell were joined by Purple Nation founders Michael Steele and Lanny Davis in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates calling for the two candidates to "Debate the Debt" during one of the presidential debates this fall.

August 2, 2012

Stephen Colbert covered the fiscal cliff and Grover Norquist in last night's Colbert Report. As usual Colbert is absolutely hilarious, but he also gives a good introduction to those who may have not heard much about the fiscal cliff. Watch the video below:

 

 

August 1, 2012

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is slated to default on a $5.5 billion dollar payment to the United States Treasury tonight at midnight, underscoring the continued financial turmoil and budgetary insolvency of government-managed programs.

August 1, 2012
Paring Down Extenders is One Step Forward, but Not Offsetting Their Cost is Two Steps Back

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a mark-up of the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act tomorrow at 10 am. The Act would retroactively extend the Alternative Minimum Tax patch and many temporary "tax extenders" through 2012 and extend just the extenders through 2013.

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