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.
In last year's State of the Union speech, President Obama promised to reorganize the government by consolidating agencies that had duplicative functions or otherwise overlapped. Of course, that plan fell by the wayside after the Administration spent much of the next six months in budget negotiations involving appropriations and the debt limit. After that was over, there were no mentions of the reorganization plan, and it seemed to have been abandoned...until now.
The most recent focus of President Obama's initiatives has been on "insourcing," or providing incentives to companies to bring jobs back to the US from overseas. According to CNN's article, the proposal, which will come in a few weeks and surely be included in the President's budget, will work on both sides of the equation: providing incentives to companies who bring business back home and eliminating incentives for companies that do the opposite.
You may have already read the news yesterday, but current OMB director Jack Lew will be replacing Bill Daley as President Obama's chief of staff at the end of January.
In 2009, President Obama created the SAVE Award (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency), which is given each year to the federal employee who submits the best idea to increase government efficiency and ensure that taxpayers' money is being spent wisely.
After hinting at how they would cut defense spending yesterday, the Obama Administration has given out another small detail of its upcoming budget. According to the Washington Post's Ed O' Keefe, the White House will request a 0.5 percent pay increase for federal employees in FY 2013, on the heels of a two-year pay freeze.
With the Super Committee deadline still two weeks away, President Obama seems to be unable to wait to get some savings on the board. Today, he signed an executive order directing agencies to reduce costs in five specified areas of their budget considered to include wasteful or unnecessary spending, to which they must make 20 percent reductions by FY 2013.
Yesterday, we argued that to actually stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, you probably need to propose a plan with even more savings than what would stabilize the debt under current projections. The risks come from both the economic and political uncertainties:
Last week, in our analysis of the President's submission, we noted how the President's submission to the Super Committee nearly stabilizes debt, but not fully, this decade and how much more will be needed to actually put debt on a clear downward path.
We stated that:
With President Obama's deficit reduction plan now officially out, it's worth comparing the debt path under this plan to other debt paths. For the comparison graph below, we have thrown in CBO's August baseline (excluding the trigger included in the Budget Control Act), the Fiscal Commission, and CRFB's Realistic baseline.