Fiscal Policy in the News
A week ago, the Campaign to Fix the Debt launched the "Citizen's Petition to Fix the Debt," demanding that Congressional leaders and the president work together to fix the debt. Today, over 92,000 concerned citizens have pledged their support for this effort. Over 50,000 signatures were gained in the first 48 hours alone.
On Friday, we heard from two allies in the fight to put our nation’s fiscal house in order and fix the debt. In a C-SPAN interview, former Senator and Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-chair Judd Gregg (R-NH) shared his thoughts about the current economic climate and how a bipartisan solution on the debt from lawmakers in Washington could help set the economy on a stronger path in the near-term and long-term.
Decisions, Decisions – Washington waits with bated breath for the Supreme Court to rule Thursday on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care reform law. Not only will the decision have repercussions for politics and health care, it will also impact the federal budget significantly. In a blog last week, we laid out how the federal budget will be affected in different scenarios.
Playing Dead – Lawmakers face several deadlines in coming weeks as the number of days that Congress will be in session dwindles. Deadlines loom at the end of the month for highway funding and student loans.
Undead Ends – Recent reports of disturbing behavior have raised the specter of a zombie apocalypse, where the undead overrun civilization. Flesh/brain-eating creatures aren’t the only things that don’t want to die. Political gridlock also keeps coming back and threatens to make a wasteland out of the political system. Policymakers cannot agree on a budget blueprint at a time when we most need a fiscal plan that shows the way out of the depths of debt. The appropriations process lingers on; a slowly moving, virtually-lifeless corpse.
Heat Is On – Summer had its traditional kick-off with Memorial Day weekend and the temperatures in DC rose to the occasion. If only the same could be said of the city's political process. As the November election gets closer, temperatures will continue to rise this summer, along with the debt. But will the best solutions rise to the top? Meanwhile, the fiscal cliff also gets closer and will become hotter to handle.
Update: The text has been updated to include spending growth numbers for President Bush excluding financial rescue programs.
Much Not to ‘Like’ – Facebook had its initial public offering (IPO) on Friday. The hype surrounding the offering illustrated the prominence of social networking in our economy and society. Yet, for all the lofty numbers involved, they pale in comparison to the federal budget.
The 2012 Fiscal Summit presented by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is today. Watch live here now and follow on Twitter with #FiscalSummit.
Speakers include former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Senator Rob Portman, Travelers Companies, Inc. Chairman and CEO Jay Fishman, and former Senator and Fiscal Commission Co-Chair Alan Simpson.
Winter is Coming – HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has a legion of devoted fans. The show deftly combines mystical elements with real-world political intrigue. Of course, the gratuitous sex and violence may also play a role in its popularity. The fictional capital of King’s Landing could be mistaken for Washington, DC except for the (slightly) better sanitation in our capital. King’s Landing is filled with plotting and backstabbing and is currently under siege.