Fiscal Policy in the News
Gang of Six Unveils Plan – The bipartisan Gang of Six senators that had been left for dead when one of its members left the group earlier this year quickly sprang back to life on Tuesday when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) rejoined the group and it unveiled its long-awaited plan to colleagues.
Clutch Goals -- The U.S. Women’s Soccer team scored an improbable victory over Brazil on Sunday in the Women’s World Cup, overcoming a scoring and manpower deficit with a last-minute goal and sealing the victory through penalty kicks. A similar storyline is playing out in Washington involving a different deficit -- the federal budget deficit. It looks as if negotiations to raise the statutory debt limit and reduce the deficit will also come down to the wire.
More Fireworks in Store – Washington, DC celebrated Independence Day on Monday night with its annual fireworks display on the National Mall. Though the traditional pyrotechnics may be out of the way, lawmakers returning to work today could produce more fireworks in the nation’s capital.
After a sold-out presentation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week in which Fiscal Commission co-chair Senator Alan Simpson detailed the Commission's $4+ trillion long-term deficit reduction plan, over 200 Wyoming residents signed a letter urging their elected officials -- President Obama, Senators Enzi and Barrasso, and Congresswoman Lummis -- to endorse a compromise along the lines of the Commission
It’s hard to deny that Twitter has become an important medium, having recently surpassed 300 million registered users. The White House has recognized its emergence by scheduling its first Twitter Townhall for Wednesday, July 6. The topic will be the economy and there likely will be, and should be, questions on the debt limit and national debt in general. You can submit your own question via Twitter using the #AskObama hashtag.
Where Is Our Columbo? – Peter Falk, the award-winning actor best known for playing the rumpled, yet wily, Lt. Columbo, died on Thursday. Falk, who was an analyst with the Connecticut State Budget Bureau before embarking on a professional acting career, created an endearing and enduring character who used unique techniques to get the job done. Detective Columbo always got the bad guy using a brilliant mind and obsessive desire to tie up loose ends, all hidden behind a disheveled facade to lull the guilty party into a false sense of complacency.
Today, the Senate confirmed former CIA Director (and former CRFB Co-Chair!) Leon Panetta by a unanimous vote to become our new Secretary of Defense.
Time ‘Fore’ Action – Golf, that favorite pastime of power players, was even more popular than usual in Washington last week. Not only did the U.S. Open bring the best professional golfers in the world to the D.C. area, but a powerful foursome also hit the links, perhaps linking fiscal policy matters to their conversation as they played their round. Yet, while the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland saw a dominating U.S.
Highlighting the growing concern within international circles and among the various ratings agencies, the International Monetary Fund released its newest World Economic Outlook today, and the verdict is unpleasant.
We were lucky enough to have Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke open our annual conference this week. His remarks were an important statement on the need for action and also offered some helpful guidance on how to move forward. Full text of his remarks is here and video of the event can be viewed here.
Bernanke on our current situation: