October 22, 2014

Blogs

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.

The Current State of the Debt

As political candidates offer vague promises of spending restraint and Congress considers the administration’s new budget, Americans face an unpleasant fiscal landmark: before we get to the election in November, the national debt will exceed the U.S. economy’s entire annual production.

The debt has not exceeded the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since World War II. Once that war was over, however, the debt stabilized and then steadily fell as a percentage of the economy.

You Can't Repeal IPAB Without a Credible Alternative

Last week two committees in the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). This is an alarming attempt to undo a key cost-saving enforcement mechanism without putting anything else in its place.

You may recall that the IPAB was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA – aka “health care reform”) to reduce the growth in Medicare spending through the use of a spending-target system and a fast-track legislative process. 

Introducing Our Indicators

Over the years that The Concord Coalition has been working to promote fiscal responsibility, we've gotten to know our network of grassroots members pretty well. By and large they are earnest, inquisitive, and have a thirst for the raw facts that allow them to draw their own conclusions. We always keep them in mind when we develop our educational tools.

Tax Policy in the President's Budget

In his Fiscal Year 2013 budget, President Obama proposes an array of tax proposals. Some of his suggestions are new and would move the country’s unfair, inefficient and overly complex tax system in a positive direction. But some of the most costly proposals are the ones we’ve seen many times before. Four points stand out in the tax proposals in the Obama budget: