The Bottom Line

November 18, 2011

Today, Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) called for a "Sense of the Senate" resolution pushing for Congress to "Go Big" on deficit reduction using the framework of the Simpson-Bowles proposal. The resolution is a non-binding agreement that a "Go Big" approach needs to be taken towards deficit reduction.

November 17, 2011

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and many others have called on the Super Committee to find two or three times its mandated $1.5 trillion in budget savings. If the Super Committee is unable to agree on all the details before its November 23 deadline around the corner, we hope it will set the stage for continued efforts early next year to "Go Big" in order to keep the momentum going and put serious reforms in place.

November 17, 2011

With the deadline for the Super Committee to come to an agreement nearly here, the Moment of Truth Project, a project of CRFB, has released two new policy papers diving deeper into the Fiscal Commission's recommendations on how to reform federal retirement programs and Medicare cost-sharing rules. These areas of the budget can be a critical element in forging a bipartisan deal that requires shared sacrifice from everyone.

November 17, 2011
Debt Reduction Done Right: An Economic Growth Strategy That Will Work

CRFB president Maya MacGuineas just wrote an essay featured in the Ripon Forum. She writes that the debate over whether the "debt crisis" or the "jobs crisis" is more important misses the point that they are not mutually exclusive and that we can do both at the same time. She argues that debt reduction is a critical element of any economic growth strategy.

November 16, 2011

It's clear that any solution to control our rising debt will have to be bipartisan, not only to enact savings put to see them through and ensure they materialize. That's why CRFB is committed to a bipartisan approach, and is willing to work with lawmakers across the political spectrum who want to tackle our debt challenges.

November 16, 2011

Today in the Washington Post, Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs and CRFB Board Members Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles wrote an op-ed titled, "The Super Committee's Make-or-Break Question," noting that they are not surprised that the Super Committee is going down to the wire to reach an agreement - their experience on the Fiscal Commission taught them how hard this issue is.

November 16, 2011

A group of legislators today staged a rare bipartisan, bicameral show of strength to support the Super Committee and encourage it to “Go Big.” At a Capitol Hill press conference, dozens of senators and representatives from each party united to promote a comprehensive solution now.

We have the greatest chance we’ve seen in a generation to strike a bold agreement that will move us forward on a sustainable fiscal path and spur economic recovery.” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

November 16, 2011

Yesterday, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi penned an article in Politico about the various possible outcomes of the looming Super Committee deadline. His remarks about the benefits of a multi-trillion dollar deficit reduction plan allow us to welcome him to the growing list of members in our Announcement Effect Club. Congrats!

November 16, 2011

Today at 10:30 am ET, Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both the House and the Senate will be holding a press conference pushing Go Big in a last-minute call for the Super Committee to exceed their $1.2 trillion mandate. It could not come at a more opportune time as the Super Committee has entered its final week of deliberations, before the Monday night deadline to hand over proposals to the CBO for scoring.

November 15, 2011

You might think we're about to talk about Social Security reform or how to reform the Sustainable Growth Rate. But what we're actually talking about here is the need for Super Committee members to not be thinking of ways to reduce the overall savings to get a deal, but ways to increase the savings to make the chances of a deal more likely.

With two rounds of deficit reduction offers coming from both sides on the Super Committee, one disappointing trend has emerged: claw-back.

November 14, 2011

Time is Short and We Need to Go Long – The clock is ticking on the Super Committee as its November 23 deadline is now just a week and a half away. It’s now or never for the panel. By looking across the Atlantic, we can see what happens when governments cannot get their act together to address national debt. Some contend that the only hope at this point is a small, face-saving deal.

November 11, 2011

It's amazing how sequences in Washington can repeat themselves. 

November 11, 2011

Both parties are studying cuts in tax expenditures (TEs) as a means to reduce the federal deficit. Super Committee Republicans have offered a proposal to limit the amount of tax expenditures to help generate about $250 billion in new revenues, while Super Committee Democrats have proposed an automatic trigger to limit TEs (a la the Feldstein-Feenberg-MacGuineas approach).

November 10, 2011

This week has seen the emergence of another set of broad outlines from the Democrats and Republicans on the Super Committee, in a process that is somewhat reminiscent of the Boehner-Reid back-and-forth during the debt ceiling debate. After each group made offers two weeks ago, they have come back with new plans that are a little closer to the other side's liking -- but only a little.

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.

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