Budget Process and Rules
A few months ago, we pointed out that the Administration was cheating in its Mid-Session Review budget baseline. Essentially it was taking policies which President Obama had signed into law as temporary, under the stimulus bill, and assuming them as permanent. The implication being that, if the policies were a part of the baseline, they wouldn't need to be paid for when enacted.
Well, the Administration is at it again in their FY 2011 budget submission, but this time they are doing a better job of hiding it.
The stakes are high and the House is raising the limit and calling the shots. No, we’re not talking Vegas – the casinos wish they were dealing with this kind of dough – this is Washington, baby and what happens in DC … affects us all. CQ reports (subscription required) that the House of Representatives will vote today on legislation passed by the Senate last week raising the debt limit to $14.3 trillion.
Today, CRFB released our Analysis of the President's FY 2011 Budget. We will be following-up here at The Bottom Line with shorter analyses discussing specific aspects of the budget. This is the first:
President Obama's proposed freeze on non-security discretionary spending is leaving some agencies and programs feeling colder than others. In fact, some aren't chilly at all.
Like peanut butter and jelly, diet and exercise, and bourbon and bacon (or is that just us?) PAYGO and spending caps are best when together. You wouldn't know it from the votes surrounding the debt limit increase.
In yet another sign that the legislative process needs serious fixing, Congress last year appropriated $290.8 billion for programs that the House and Senate failed to reauthorize, the Congressional Budget Office says in a report released this month.
Yesterday, President Obama gave his first official State of the Union address, outlining his agenda for the rest of the year. We watched the speech closely (and even tweeted on it), and were impressed overall. Although President Obama argued that "jobs must be our number one focus in 2010," he paid particular attention to the deficit. As the President explained:
[The deficit] is a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve.
Yesterday, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas had an op-ed in CNN calling President Obama's proposed non-security freeze A Good First Step. Here are some highlights:
Earlier today, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan released his update Roadmap for America's Future (and a nifty Website to go with it). Under this Roadmap, the Congressman proposes major changes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, tax policy, and the budget process, and these changes would lead to significant long-term fiscal improvements.
Today, the Blue Dog coalition released its blueprint for fiscal reform. The group, comprised of moderate and conservative Democrats, has long been known for its commitment to fiscal responsibility.