Mitch Daniels, Leon Panetta, Tim Penny Named CRFB Co-Chairs

 “We are uncommonly lucky to have these three great leaders join together to lead the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee. “Between them, they have written several books; led states, congressional committees, and federal agencies; and headed the Office of Management and Budget—not to mention all being well-known leaders in calling for fiscal responsibility.”

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CRFB Breaks Down the Social Security Trustees' Report

Following the release of the 2015 Social Security Trustees' report, CRFB has released a report summarizing the myriad statistics and projections that the Trustees published. Our report discusses the solvency of both the disability and old-age portions of the program, the long-term shortfall of the program, and how the projections changed since last year. Click here to read the blog series.

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Second Half of the Year Means Plenty of Fiscal Speed Bumps Ahead

As we move past the midpoint of 2015, several fiscal deadlines are fast approaching. Congress is preparing to act on two important Fiscal Speed Bumps in Congress: the pending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, and the upcoming deadline for the retroactive renewal of tax extenders. Our updated infographic illustrates these and other Fiscal Speed Bumps ahead.

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Appropriations Watch: FY 2016

The appropriations process is in full swing on Capitol Hill.  As we did last year, we'll be tracking the bills as they move from committee to the House and Senate floor, and on to the President's desk. This blog shows the status of each appropriations bill. To learn more about the appropriations process, read our report: Appropriations 101.

 

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CRFB's Blog: The Bottom Line

The Washington Post yesterday issued Congress "a wise prescription for Social Security Disability Insurance," urging lawmakers to use the program's impending insolvency as an opportunity to enact longer-term structural reforms. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund is slated for depletion by the end of 2016, at which point benefits would be cut across the board by 19 percent. Lawmakers have repeatedly stated their intent to avert the cut for the nearly 9 million disabled workers and their nearly 2 million dependents who receive SSDI. Many expect that lawmakers will extend solvency by redirecting some of the funds currently going into the Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance (OASI) trust fund to SSDI, extending SSDI's solvency by 17 years according to the Social Security Trustees, while bringing forward OASI's insolvency date by 1 year.

Our analysis of the 2015 Social Security Trustees' report noted that "As time goes on, it will be more difficult to secure the Social Security programs for current and future generations with thoughtful changes instead of abrupt benefit cuts or tax increases." We previously detailed how much bigger changes need to be to keep Social Security solvent if lawmakers wait for in both the 2013 and 2014 reports. While the 2015 report showed a slight improvement in the program's projected finances, making the necessary changes slightly smaller, the problem with delaying change remains.

Although the Social Security Trustees estimate the program's financial outlook has slightly improved relative to last year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) takes a different view. As with Medicare, CBO is far more pessimistic about Social Security's future. This is true relative to last year, but especially relative to the Social Security Trustees. Indeed, while the Trustees project a 2034 insolvency date (on a combined basis) and 2.7 percent of payroll 75-year shortfall, CBO estimates insolvency will come five years earlier, and that the program will have a 75-year shortfall of 4.4 percent of payroll.

Just hours in advance of the release of Wednesday's 2015 Social Security Trustees' Report, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee, and 22 Democratic co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3150, the One Social Security Act, a bill that would merge the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance (OASI) trust funds into one combined Social Security trust fund. Aimed at averting the impending depletion of the SSDI trust fund, combining the trust funds would result in one insolvency date of 2034, according to the 2015 Trustees' Report.

 
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.

Join Our Team!

Current job opportunities at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget include:

  • Director of the Fiscal Institute
  • Legislative Director
  • Communications Director
  • Policy Analyst, Fiscal Institute

Learn more

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.

There is a growing consensus that the budget process is broken. The Better Budget Process Initiative will put forward specific options to reform and improve the budget process in a wide range of areas, including increasing focus on the long-term fiscal outlook, improving the process for dealing with the debt limit, strengthening statutory budget enforcement, revising the content and structure of the budget resolution, moving to biennial budgeting, and addressing treatment of tax expenditures in the budget process.