April 19, 2014

Blogs

Recent Fiscal Future Commission Developments

For the last few weeks, members of Congress have been increasingly pushing for a bipartisan commission to tackle the nation's fiscal challenges. The impetus has been the need to raise the debt limit as the national debt rapidly approaches the $12 trillion statutory ceiling.

The Federal Budget Challenge

This week marks the debut of Concord's new, online budget game -- The Federal Budget Challenge.

How the Homebuyer Tax Credit “Works” a Lot Like Cash for Clunkers

The news from Thursday’s Washington Post:

The Senate voted Wednesday to renew the government’s $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers through the first six months of next year as part of a broader bill designed to extend unemployment benefits.

For the first time, the tax credit program would also enable many homeowners who buy a new primary residence to receive a $6,500 refund.

Initial Thoughts on the House Health Care Reform Bill

Here are a few initial thoughts from The Concord Coalition about the House of Representatives health care bill (H.R. 3962) and the preliminary scoring of that bill by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

"Waking-Up" a Mile High

The Concord Coalition’s Fiscal Wake-Up Tour made its second stop in Denver on Thursday, drawing around 700 people of all ages for a day-long collection of events. 

Building Models and Guessing

I have written a lot in this blog about the Congressional Budget Office and their estimates (here is the latest example). Today, the Washington Post has another great article explaining the process.

Sorry, Congress. There’s (Still) No Way to Raise Revenue Without Taxing (Real) People

Well, it took a couple months, but those with a stake in health care reform have finally figured out that the idea of an excise tax on insurance companies instead of an any alternative tax on “real people” was no magic cure for the want-more-revenue-but-don’t-want-higher-taxes blues. From a story by Ben Smith and Patrick O’Connor in today’s Politico (emphasis added):

Inflation and the Economy, Debt and China

I spent much of the last week in San Francisco assisting our Northern California Fiscal Advisory Council in their discussions of the possible solutions to the country's fiscal challenges.

The Finance Committee Bill

The big news this week on the health care front was the release of the Senate Finance Committee's initial draft of its health care legislation. The big interest in the budget world with this development is that it marked the first complete reform legislation with a score from CBO that shows deficit reduction, not only during the 10-year budget window but also in the years beyond.

What is "Waste" in Health Care Anyway?

After President Obama's big health care speech this week, we have been talking here at Concord about how he makes it sound as if all we have to do to cut health care costs is cut the “waste” and “abuse” that no one should want anyway. That’s how he can claim his plan would reduce federal health spending without cutting any federal health care “benefits” -- because it wouldn’t cut any spending that actually “benefits” people.