Could We Go Bungee Jumping Off the Fiscal Cliff?

It is a point of consensus among those following the budget that the fiscal cliff would likely be very damaging for the economy in the short term, likely pushing it into a recession. However, there is less agreement on how quickly the cliff would hurt the economy. 

Changes to Income-Based Repayment for Student Loans: "Safety Net or Windfall?"

Our colleagues Jason Delisle and Alex Holt of the New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project have released a new paper "Safety Net or Windfall?" on the 2010 changes to federal student loan program's Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan. The IBR plan was designed to help with student's loan repayment by limiting payments to 15 percent of their income and forgiving the remaining balance after 25 years.

Social Security Adjustments Announced Today

With the release of September inflation numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration also announced its cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) and change to the maximum amount of income to which the payroll tax is applied. The COLA for Social Security benefits next year will be a 1.7 percent increase, while the taxable maximum will rise from $110,100 to $113,700.

Quantifying the Effects of Uncertainty

We have seen many lawmakers and business leaders claim that the fiscal cliff is holding back the recovery and leading to higher unemployment, and in today's The Wall Street Journal, a Bank of America survey shows that in the mind of investors it is the top risk for the U.S. economy.

Event Recap: "Economic and Foreign Policy Implications of America's Debt"

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted an event today chaired by former Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA), who is a member of the steering committee for the Campaign to Fix the Debt, and Pete Domenici (R-NM) entitled "Economic and Foreign Policy Implications of America's Debt." It featured comments from former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State James Baker, and a panel of former members of Congress.

CBO Projects a Recession -- But How Deep?

We've warned many times before that going off the fiscal cliff would throw the economy into a double dip recession.

How Long Will Low Interest Rates Last?

Are we really borrowing for free, and should we be taking advantage of it?

Goldman Sachs On the Fiscal Cliff

In a new investor note, Alec Philips of Goldman Sachs produced a useful new chart comparing three different scenarios for extending all the fiscal cliff and letting them all expire.

The Concord Coalition Provides Fiscal Lessons From Europe

The Concord Coalition has just unveiled a new paper, authored by Edmund Andrews, Joe Minarik, and Diane Lim Rodgers, called "Not Just Their Problem: The Euro Debt Crisis and U.S. Fiscal Policy," shedding some light on our fiscal outlook in an international context.

It's Not Free Money

Paul Krugman and other advocates of more federal stimulus spending cite today’s extremely low real interest rates, near zero or negative, as reason to borrow and spend this "free money." As Jared Bernstein, another stimulus advocate, points out, though, the notion of free federal debt is a fallacy.

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