Report: Deficit Falls to $483 Billion, but Debt Continues to Rise

    MacGuineas: A Social Security ‘Fix’ That Falls Short

    Call for Papers on Improving SSDI Program

    Stabilize the Debt

Report: Deficit Falls to $483 Billion, but Debt Continues to Rise

 CRFB updated a new paper summarizing the Treasury Department's statement of the final FY 2014 budget deficit. According to the Treasury, the deficit fell to $483 billion, which is good news. But, both deficits and debt are projected to rise over the next decade and  beyond, with trillion-dollar deficits returning by 2025.

 

MacGuineas: A Social Security ‘Fix’ That Falls Short

 Social Security is on a path to insolvency and unable to pay full benefits by 2033. CRFB President Maya MacGuineas recently wrote a Wall Street Journal Think Tank article about the commonly discussed "fix" of lifting the $117,000 payroll tax cap so all wages are subject to the tax. She writes that, "even if we eliminate the cap–and there is a good case for at least raising it–that wouldn’t make Social Security even close to solvent."  

Call for Papers on Improving SSDI Program
Former Congressmen Jim McCrery (R-LA) and Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) launched the McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Iniatitive, a bipartisan effort to identify potential improvements to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. The goal of the initiative is to provide policymakers with options to improve the SSDI program in advance of the its 2016 projected insolvency date. Proposals should be submitted by Nov. 1, 2014.  
Stabilize the Debt

 

The long-term debt of the United States is rising to unprecedented – and unsustainable – levels. Everyone has an opinion on what should be done about America's finances. Here's your chance to try out your ideas. Read the blog.

 

 

 

CRFB's Blog: The Bottom Line

In response to Howard Gleckman's piece on the FY 2014 deficit where he noted that the budget had returned to "normal," Donald Marron wrote that the most common concept of normal is not all that useful. The 2014 budget ended up being close to the 40-year historical averages for spending, revenue, and deficits. That average is often considered a benchmark for fiscal metrics, and it is frequently used by the CBO and others.

October 22, 2014

Although the Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Patent Office are infamous among federal agencies for the long wait times and lines, their backlogs pale in comparison to another office that manages court hearings for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. According to an article by David A. Fahrenthold from the Washington Post, with 990,399 people waiting to get a decision on their disability claims, “That is Washington’s backlog of backlogs — a queue of waiting Americans larger than the populations of six different states.” In contrast, the VA has 526,000 cases pending and the Patent Office has 606,000 applications waiting.

The Center for American Progress' Katherine Blakeley and Lawrence Korb recently issued a report recommending how lawmakers should wind down war spending, known as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), as U.S. involvement in Afghanistan wanes. OCO has become a headache for budget enforcement because, unlike base defense spending, it is not capped and so it has been used to avoid the discretionary spending caps.

Year after year, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) refuses to simply give lip service to "wasteful government spending" and has instead called out controversial government spending by name. Today, his office published the fifth annual edition of his Wastebook, detailing 100 examples of what he describes as "stupid spending," totaling almost $25 billion. The Wastebook looks at little-used government programs, unusual research projects funded by government grants, and tax breaks given to companies to compile these examples.

 
June 4, 2013
CRFB's latest interactive tool "The Reformer" is a handy game that allows users to design their own Social Security plan. Users can select from a wide variety of benefit and revenue changes to make the system sustainably solvent. The tool then shows the effect on the program's finances and benefit and tax levels.
September 27, 2011
If you've ever wanted to design your own corporate tax reform, now you can with our new Interactive Tax Reform Calculator. There is no question that the U.S. corporate tax system is badly in need of reform, and leaders in both parties have been pursuing this goal.

CRFB Projects

The McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative is dedicated to identifying practical improvements to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. The SSDI Solutions Initiative is calling for academic papers on innovative ways to make the SSDI program better serve workers with disabilities, those who pay into the program, and the economy as a whole.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is an unprecedented and bipartisan coalition that seeks to mobilize members of business, government, and policy communities to urge Congress and the President to enact a comprehensive debt deal.

The Moment of Truth (MOT) project is a non-profit, non-partisan effort that seeks to foster honest discussion about the nation’s fiscal challenges, the difficult choices that must be made to solve them, and the potential for bipartisan compromise that can move the debate forward and set our country on a sustainable path.