President Obama was recently quoted in the Washington Post as saying that an additional $1.5 trillion of deficit reduction would hit the $4 trillion total that many have cited as the target for total deficit reduction. While we agree on the enacted savings total, we disagree on the math.
Analyses of the CBO budget baseline generally focus on the current law baseline, the one that CBO presents in most detail. In the past, we constructed a CRFB Realistic baseline to account for many policies scheduled to expire/happen in current law that we thought were unrealistic. The Realistic baseline showed a much worse fiscal outlook than the current law baseline.
In CBO’s latest Budget and Economic Outlook, much has changed since their August baseline. As we explain in our report on the February baseline, the majority of change results from the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). However, there are several other legislative, technical, and economic revisions that for the most part cancel each other out but are still worth highlighting.
CBO's release of its annual Budget and Economic Outlook is a treasure trove of information, sometimes not easily digestible.
To help put all that information in a more accessible form, CRFB released a brief 6 page analysis of CBO's new economic and budget projections, which are first official look at future budget projections in light of the fiscal cliff deal and other developments.
For 49ers and Ravens fans, the Super Bowl was the big game of the 2012 NFL season. For budget wonks, today is that day, as CBO has released its budget and economic projections. These projections show what we previously thought, that debt is on an upward path as a percent of GDP under CBO's current law and Alternative Fiscal Scenario projections.
Our blog yesterday noted that the debate over stimulus versus deficit reduction is much more nuanced than is often portrayed. Although these positions are sometimes characterized as directly opposing, there is often a lot of overlap. We described the difference as more about emphasis rather than direction.
A recent op-ed from Joe Scarborough in Politico has brought back attention to the stimulus vs. deficit reduction debate.
In the past few weeks, we have made the case for putting debt on a downward path as a percent of GDP as a goal for the next round of deficit reduction. This is in contrast to those who have advocated stabilizing the debt over ten years with $1.4 or $1.5 trillion of additional savings and, much more worryingly, those who believe that serious deficit reduction can wait for another ten years.