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

With FY 2014 officially in the book, it’s time to look back at how spending and revenues have changed since the FY 2009’s highest nominal deficit of all time (and 5th highest as a percentage of GDP since 1930).  

The FY2014 budget deficit totaled $483 billion with $3.02 trillion of revenue and $3.50 trillion of spending. This deficit was nearly 30 percent below the FY2013 deficit and 66 percent below its 2009 peak. In FY 2009, the budget deficit was $1.41 trillion with $2.11 trillion in revenue and $3.52 trillion of spending.

In response to the release of final FY 2014 deficit numbers, Tax Policy Center's Howard Gleckman writes that this year's outcome just returns the budget to "fiscal normalcy" -- and only temporarily. Although the deficit has fallen significantly in recent years, this year's budget is largely in line with the averages of recent decades.

We noted in our discussion of the final Monthly Treasury Statement for 2014 that the deficit has fallen by two-thirds since 2009 after rising by nearly nine-fold between 2007 and 2009. However, much of this decline was already expected as a result of a recovering economy and unwinding stimulus, so another way to look at what's happened with the budget in the last five years is how the projected 2014 deficit has changed since 2009.

Medicare Part D costs have leveled off in recent years as pharmaceutical innovation has slowed and a number of blockbuster drugs lost patent protection, but a new wave of expensive specialty drugs threatens to revitalize cost growth. To help control the high prices of unique, noncompetitive drugs paid for by Part D, Richard Frank and Joseph Newhouse recommend an innovative approach to apply binding arbitration as a fallback to price-setting negotiations.

 
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.