The PREP Plan: Paying for Reform and Extension Policies

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

    McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Iniatitive

    Budget Simulator: Stabilize the Debt

The PREP Plan: Paying for Reform and Extension Policies

 In coming months, Congress and the President must decide how to address “Sustainable Growth Rate” (SGR) cuts and 55 “tax extenders” that expired at the end of last year. Policymakers could also use these moments to help put the debt on a sustainable long-term path. CRFB's Paying for Reform and Extension Policies (PREP) Plan represents one such approach.

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.


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

With the national debt at record highs and projected to increase, lawmakers need to find ways to reduce the long-term budget deficit. Fortunately, CBO has just released an updated book of options to do just that in advance of lame duck legislation and the new Congress being sworn in.

November 21, 2014
People who wanted market-driven health care now have it in the Affordable Care Act

Alice Rivlin is a former Director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget. She has served as a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (Simpson-Bowles) and a co-chair of Domenci-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force. She currently is on the board of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and is the Director of the Engelberg Center on Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution. She recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post entitled "People who wanted market-driven health care now have it in the Affordable Care Act".  It is reposted here.

CQ is reporting (subscription required) that the main obstacle to the defense appropriations authorization, which must be addressed during the lame duck session, are a pair of Defense Department proposals to slow the growth of military personnel spending. These recommendations would save $16-$18 billion over five years, providing room for other spending under the defense caps. However, while the Senate Armed Services Committee accepted these proposals, the House rejected them. If Congress requires the Pentagon to cut its budget but keeps rejecting the Pentagon's ideas for budget savings, they will ultimately need to make even more difficult choices.

Policymakers are considering using the lame duck session to substantially worsen the nation's budget. A commonly discussed package would add potentially by as much as $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. According to news reports [last one is behind a paywall], politicians of both parties have talked about deficit-financing a permanent continuation of tax breaks that expired last year and a replacement of the Medicare SGR.  A lame duck session is not an excuse to throw fiscal responsibility out the window. We recently released the PREP plan, which shows one way lawmakers could pay for these changes.

Failing to offset these policies would add a huge amount to the debt. Continuing the extenders would wipe away all the new revenue raised in the fiscal cliff deal, while failing to offset the SGR would break with years of precedent, as the doc fix has been paid for 98 percent of the time since 2004.

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.