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

    MacGuineas: A Social Security ‘Fix’ That Falls Short

    McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Iniatitive

    Budget Simulator: 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."  

McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Iniatitive
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.  
Budget Simulator: 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. Use our budget simulator to "stabilize the debt." Read the blog.




CRFB's Blog: The Bottom Line

The last few months have seen a number of new ideas to save money in Part D of Medicare by encouraging more efficient use of drugs by prescription drug plans and beneficiaries. But Part D has also grown significantly slower than expected since its inception.

On this blog and in Health Affairs, we've highlighted the disproportionate role that Part D has played in the federal health care spending slowdown.


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tells Politico that his priorities for the next Congress include the budget process, and in particular, evaluating the budgetary impacts of legislation over the long term and biennial budgeting. We generally share McCarthy's support for biennial budgeting though our enthusiasm depends on what emerges from the legislative process – and it is by no means a silver bullet.

On long term budgeting, Politico's Jake Sherman writes:

Also in McCarthy’s crosshairs: the congressional budget process. He thinks writing a budget each year is antiquated, and said Congress should consider budgeting once every two years. Also, he wants to reform the Congressional Budget Office so it studies the impact of legislation over, say, 20 years, instead of 10. He said Congress often times gets “stuck in our subcommittees” and he wants to “start looking at what we’re doing in the next 50 years.” McCarthy says Washington is frozen because the “structure holds us back.”

“The ideas are great,” McCarthy said, “but what stops the ideas from becoming law? Some of the archaic things we do.” McCarthy added, with a hefty dose of incredulity, “The budget act is the Budget Act of 1974. Does the world look like it did in ‘74?”

October 28, 2014
Urgency of Federal Deficit Remains

The good news that the budget deficit declined to $486 billion in fiscal year 2014 has prompted a declaration in some circles that the deficit is no longer a concern, and we should now turn our focus to making investments in economic growth. This either/or analysis is shortsighted and the source of many of our nation's current problems created by both parties. America is and will continue to be constrained from pursuing dynamic economic growth opportunities and from making smart investments in the future until we put our budget on a fiscally sustainable course.

I wish I could believe the recent decline in the deficit is sustainable. The temporary factors related to the recession — which caused the deficit to increase dramatically — are now receding, but the structural problems with our budget remain.

Social Security's finances are far from secure, and every year that Congress waits before addressing the problem makes it harder to fix. This week, the Social Security actuaries updated their estimates of options to restore solvency based on the assumptions in the 2014 Social Security Trustees report. Most of the options save a similar amount as last year but close a smaller percentage of the larger shortfall.

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.