December 21, 2014

Blogs

CBO Warns About the Fiscal Cliff

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released an excellent analysis on the "Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That Is Scheduled to Occur in 2013."  The CBO term “fiscal restraint” has been more popularly referred to as “the fiscal cliff.” That is because there are so many large, sudden fiscal policy changes awaiting us at the turn of the year that if we think of the U.S.

How Much Are We Going to Spend on Medicare?

In late April, the Medicare Trustees released an annual report on the financial status of the program. In their report, the trustees are required to analyze where Medicare costs are heading based on a strict reading of current law. However, there are numerous reasons to believe that these numbers do not give the full picture.

The Economy’s Ailments and the Best Fiscal Policy Prescriptions

Throughout this painfully prolonged economic recovery, economic developments as they are reported have often been confusing. They seem to send mixed messages about the best courses of action for fiscal policy.

A Cautionary Tale of Cinco de Mayo (That Doesn’t Involve Tequila)

Cinco de Mayo over the years has become a popular American excuse to overindulge on nachos and beverages served in salt-rimmed glasses, but it should also serve as a reminder about the severe consequences of incurring large national debt. Many people believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day (September 16, but that's another story), but it's really about forestalling

Tax Day Question: Who Are the Rich and Why Should They Pay Higher Taxes?

On today's federal tax filing deadline, it just so happens that Congress and the Administration have been thinking of different ways to raise tax burdens on the rich.

Bookkeeping Sleights of Hand Conceal Budgetary Reality

It’s getting to be that time again when the Social Security and Medicare Trustees release their annual report on the programs’ 75-year outlook.

Bipartisan Budget Plan Based on Simpson-Bowles Provides Framework for Future Efforts

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A rare display of bipartisan fiscal cooperation broke out on Capitol Hill last week when 38 House members (22 Democrats and 16 Republicans) braved an onslaught of interest group pressure to vote in favor of a budget resolution designed to rein in the deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The budget plan, offered by Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) as an amendment to the House budget resolution, was based on the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission.

New Congressional Report on Tax Reform: Base Broadening Is Hard To Do

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released a new report by Jane Gravelle and Thomas Hungerford called “The Challenge of Individual Income Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Tax Base Broadening.” In a nutshell, the report could be called “Base Broadening Is Hard to Do.” 

The Costs Remain the Same

There has been a lot of confusion recently about whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health care reform legislation passed in 2010, is now projected to cost substantially more than previously estimated.

The short answer is no -- the costs are still tracking pretty closely to the trajectory projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2010. The main reasons for the recent confusion involve a new estimate from the CBO and the fact that it has been two years since the legislation passed, putting us two years closer to the time it will be fully implemented.