The Bottom Line

April 19, 2012

More often than not, pictures can demonstrate a problem or issue better than the raw data can.

April 18, 2012

The House is set to move forward on legislation that would enact a tax cut for small businesses. The Small Business Tax Cut Act (HR 9) allows small businesses (businesses with less than 500 employees) to temporarily deduct 20 percent of their domestic business income in 2012 up to 50 percent of employee wages. JCT has estimated that the bill would cost $46 billion, with almost all of that coming in the next few years.

April 18, 2012

One day after Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) released a budget resolution based on the Fiscal Commission plan, another Budget Committee member, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) released his own budget. Overall, his budget relies on savings from spending cuts to bring the debt down.

April 18, 2012

In an op-ed in The Roanoke Times, CRFB president Maya MacGuineas calls for policymakers and citizens to put fiscal responsibility at the forefront of the national debate this year, rather than waiting. She noted while conventional wisdom may say that nothing will get done this year, the state of our fiscal affairs says otherwise.

April 18, 2012

Today, the National Debt Tour -- a nationwide discussion with policymakers, fiscal experts and business leaders pushing for a major deficit reduction solution in 2012 -- hits Roanoke, Virginia.

April 17, 2012

At a press conference today, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) put forward a budget resolution that his Committee will be marking up starting tomorrow, one that is based on the Fiscal Commission plan. He explained the logic in proposing this budget rather than a strictly Democratic proposal:

April 17, 2012

Continuing on our Tax Week theme, this blog will focus on the various models there are for tax reform. Obviously, there are an almost unlimited number of ways to reform the tax code, but we will lay out the major "styles" of tax reform.

The tax reforms we will mention range from largely staying within the current structure to dramatically simplifying the current system to dramatically altering its structure.

April 17, 2012

Today is Tax Day and Financial Literacy Day, and just as we examine our own finances, our federal government should do the same. In The Hill, CRFB's own Senior Policy Director Marc Goldwein and Research Director Jason Peuquet write that this year will be critical for our nation's future finances. In laying out the problem, they say:

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

Tax Reform Cometh…Eventually – Today is Tax Day, when federal tax returns are due. Procrastinators have DC Emancipation Day, a holiday in the District of Columbia celebrating the day President Lincoln freed the slaves there, to thank for the extra day to file. The law prohibits Tax Day from falling on a weekend or federal or state holiday. Congress returns from a two-week hiatus just in time for lawmakers to take advantage of the tax filing deadline to promote their favorite tax reforms.

April 16, 2012

The House Republican budget resolution included reconciliation instructions to six committees to find $261 billion in savings over ten years intended to offset $78 billion from delaying the sequester for a year.

April 16, 2012

In honor of Tax Day on Tuesday, we will be doing blogs this week about the current shape of the tax code and what can be done to fix it. Our first blog will be about all the tax provisions that will expire at the end of the year, what has been labelled as "taxmageddon" (or the tax side of the fiscal cliff).

April 16, 2012

With the fiscal cliff approaching and no solution yet emerging, former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has an interesting idea: bring back the Fiscal Commission. In an op-ed in The Hill, he notes the struggle that lawmakers will have in agreeing to a constructive plan that deals with future deficits while not coming down too hard on the economy in the short term.

April 13, 2012

Matt Miller and Ezra Klein wrote op-eds on Wednesday with a very similar message: neither party is doing themselves or the country any favor with their tax positions.

April 13, 2012

Charles Blahous's paper on the Affordable Care Act has sparked a lot of buzz, leading to some discussion about "double-counting" the Medicare savings and how to view the federal budget with regards to trust funds.

April 12, 2012

Our recent paper on the fiscal cliff details the short-term or longer-term economic problems that the country will face if lawmakers either allow everything in the fiscal cliff to occur as scheduled or if they decide to extend it all. This blog will look farther into the potential short-term impacts, attempting to quantify what the cliff's 2013 effects would do to the economy.

April 11, 2012

Congressional Quarterly's John Cranford has a nice profile of CRFB's "Stabilize the Debt" budget simulator. If you have not done so already, it is worth a run-through to get an idea of the kinds of choices that must be made to put debt on a downward path. Interestingly, Cranford also reminds readers of past efforts CRFB has done to quantify the impact of different budget options:

April 11, 2012

With the "Buffett Rule" set to get a vote in the Senate next week, we felt it was a good time to take a more in-depth look at the proposed policy -- at both its budget and tax impact.

April 11, 2012

Are you interested in working at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget? If so, we may have a position for you.

CRFB is seeking to fill three positions. The first is an opening for a skilled Project Manager with Hill and/or budget experience to direct day-to-day operations of one of our new initiatives in support of a comprehensive deficit reduction deal.  Bachelor’s degree required.  At least five years of experience in public policy and project management preferred.

April 10, 2012

Update: Charles Blahous has posted a response to his critics here.

April 10, 2012

Tax Policy Center president Donald Marron has a brief in Tax Notes that shows that spending on tax expenditures are higher than the commonly reported $1.1 trillion figure. As Treasury does not release the figures of the cost of all tax expenditures, they are often estimated by summing the individual and corporate tax preferences. However, this method excludes other provisions that reduce total tax revenues such as payroll or excise tax expenditures.

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