Fiscal Policy in the News

Line Items: Presidential Edition

Happy Presidents Day – As we honor those who have led this country, the race to become the next in that line is becoming more heated. And federal budget and fiscal issues are at the heart of the campaign. Voters consistently rank deficits/debt as the second most important issue, and it is closely tied to the top issue – economy/jobs. The decisions made now towards aiding the recovery could have a significant effect on the long-term budget outlook, and fiscal decisions will impact the economy.

‘Line’ Items: Budget Day Edition

Big Day – Today is the big day in budget world. The White House released its fiscal year 2013 budget request. As you can imagine, CRFB has been busy going through the numbers and proposals. CRFB issued a statement earlier today with initial analysis and a paper examining the request is forthcoming. The budget would stabilize the debt at 76% of GDP in 2022.

No Offsets? No Deal

It's no secret that the conference committee tasked with finding solutions for the expiring 2-month fix for the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and the doc fix is having a difficult time agreeing on how to offset the costs of any extensions. But just because coming to an agreement isn't easy doesn't mean it's time to abandon offsets altogether. 

'Line' Items: Baseline Edition

Baseline Instinct – The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday released its much-awaited 2012 Budget and Economic Outlook. According to CBO, if current law is maintained, deficits will decrease significantly in the period from 2013-2022; but that is a big if. Under the current law baseline, a major reason that deficits will shrink is due to major revenue boosts because the 2001/2003 tax cuts will expire and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will hit more middle-income families.

CBO Releases January 2012 Outlook

CBO released its new budget and economic outlook, showing slightly higher ten-year deficit and debt projections from 2012-2021 than the last ten-year projections CBO produced this past August.

'Line' Items: Super Bowl Edition

Super Not So Duper – The word “super” has lost its luster lately. The failure of the Super Committee and the need for a super majority in the Senate to pass virtually anything have contributed to record-low approval ratings for Congress. Meanwhile, Super PACs are pouring unlimited funds into campaigns, resulting in even more negative advertising than usual and rising concerns that the political process is being distorted.

'Line' Items: State of the Union Edition

Stating the Obvious – President Obama delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday evening. The SOTU is the annual rite where presidents attempt to hit the “reset” button and lay out their agenda for the coming year.

‘Line’ Items: Playoff Edition

Playoffs in Full Swing – The Packers packed it in; the Broncos got busted; the Saints went marching out; and Houston had a problem as the NFL Playoffs eliminated more contenders in the annual march towards crowning a champion. Challengers were eliminated in the presidential contest as well as former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman backed out and more may fall away after Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

Interesting Charts Of the Year

With the year wrapping up, our friends Ezra Klein over at the Washington Post and Derek Thompson at The Atlantic asked a variety of noted economists and other important individuals ranging from Larry Summers and Jared Bernstein to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) to list their favorite chart of the year.

Questions for the Candidates

This Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, the Republican presidential candidates will debate for one of the last times before the Iowa caucuses on January 3. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has several questions we would like to see the candidates answer.

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