CRFB Releases and Events
As we come closer and closer to the season changing to spring, it's also close to budget season. Both the House and Senate Budget Committee chairs -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), respectively -- are expected to release budget resolutions tomorrow, with mark-ups taking place later this week. Meanwhile the President's budget, delayed due to the late resolution of the fiscal cliff, is expected to be released on April 8.
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.
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.
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.
Today, CRFB put out a release, "Washington's Gift for the New Year: Another Kicked Can," on the fiscal cliff deal and previous missed opportunities to fix the debt.
Usually around this time, we say we wish this was the year a fiscal plan is enacted. But with the ongoing negotiations between the White House and Republicans along with the looming fiscal cliff, 2012 is not completely in the books yet.
Because there has been a lot of talk about the chained CPI lately, CRFB has created a brand new "Chained CPI Resource Page" to give readers one place to see all that information.
The page has background on the current consumer price index and the chained CPI. It also shows analyses from a variety of sources about the effects of the chained CPI on the budget, taxes, and Social Security in addition to links to outside experts and organizations who support using the chained CPI for inflation calculations.
The recent offers from the White House and Republican House leadership have shown that both parties appear to be committed to finding a compromise. But lawmakers still have a long ways to go. Not only must Congress and the President find a way to replace the fiscal cliff, but they should do so with a plan that adequately addresseses our unsustainable debt problem. To do this, all ideas must be on the table.
Reporting from The Wall Street Journal has indicated that lawmakers from both parties are taking a look at using an alternative measure of inflation, the "chained CPI," in a final deal that would avert the fiscal cliff. As far as possible options, this is one that makes a lot of sense for both technical and budgetary reasons.
In recent weeks, we've heard a lot about what each side is willing to do to avoid the fiscal cliff, but not nearly enough about how lawmakers intend to put our budget back on a sustainable path in the long term. The immediate and blunt nature of deficit reduction under the fiscal cliff would have a devastating impact on the economy, but we also cannot avoid addressing our medium- and long-term debt problem.