CRFB President Maya MacGuineas joined Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics on "Face the Nation" this Sunday discussing the Fix the Debt campaign and the fiscal cliff. MacGuineas criticized the political gimmicks from both Democrats and Republicans in the current negotiations and noted that the clear solution is very straightforward: it needs to raise revenues, cut spending, and reform entitlements.
Over the past few weeks we've heard some misleading things about the fiscal cliff and the possible bipartisan plans that could replace the cliff. CRFB President Maya MacGuineas referenced many of these myths in her recent Washington Post piece, but a few of these, and additional misconceptions, are worth addressing in detail. Next week we will dive more in depth into each of the three misconceptions listed below.
A new report by CRFB and Moment of Truth Project consultant Paul Weinstein provides some guidance on how we could handle both our infrastructure deficit without affecting our federal deficit. How does he propose to do this? Weinstein recommends using a commission to identify wasteful spending to help pay for infrastructure investment along with deficit reduction.
Richard Kogan at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has released a new report that argues that it may be a better goal for an upcoming budget deal to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, rather than "Going Big" and coming up with a deal that will put the debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward path. Kogan agrees that a rising level of debt is a threat to the economy, but argues that stabilizing the debt, even at its current high levels, should be our current goal. As he says:
With Congress in recess until after the elections, a plan to replace the fiscal cliff with a comprehensive debt deal will have to get done during the lame duck session. With less than five weeks to work with, Congress might look to the Bipartisan Policy Center's new Framework for a Grand Bargain for recommendations on how Congress could avoid the fiscal cliff, while ensuring it is committed to a debt deal in a limited time frame.
Tonight at 9 PM on the grounds of Hofstra University is the second presidential debate and the only debate with a town hall format. This will allow questions from audience members, and with such a broad consensus that something needs to be done about the national debt, we expect at least a few questions on fiscal policy in tonight's debate. As before, we will be live fact checking from Twitter (@BudgetHawks) and our live feed will appear below.
Vice President Joe Biden and Representive Paul Ryan (R-WI) will take the stage in Kentucky tonight at 9:00 PM E.T. in the Vice Presidential Debate. In the last debate, President Obama and Governor Romney spent a good deal of time in the last debate discussing fiscal policy -- though we hope each candidate gets more into the details tonight.