July 31, 2014

Blogs

An alarm clock for Maine

Perhaps even more than most of Concord’s Fiscal Wake-Up Tour programs, the one in Maine this week underscored the need for a really big alarm clock.

The recession has sliced into the government's revenue while putting its spending on steroids. Concord Executive Director Robert L. Bixby offered the Wake-Up Tour audience of more than 200 in Kennebunkport a troubling factoid: last month’s federal deficit of $180 billion was larger than the deficit for all of 2007.

Not just "doom and gloom"

Speakers in the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour sometimes worry that all the bad news they are delivering may be leave audiences too discouraged about the country’s future. Too much gloom and doom, after all, could cause some people to simply throw up their hands in despair.

But while people who attended this week’s Wake-Up program in Kennebunkport, Maine, found the presentations sobering, they also seemed engaged and in many cases energized to seek solutions.

That was reflected both in the wide-ranging questions during the program and in comments from some audience members afterwards.

New Budget Numbers

Throughout the day, Concord will be releasing new items related to today's budget numbers released by the CBO and OMB.

For immediate reactions, check out our Twitter feed.

Borrowing Good News on the Deficit?

Bloomberg and AP reported this week that the Obama Administration’s latest budget outlook, scheduled for release next Tuesday (same day as CBO’s summer update–watching the PR and press that day will be interesting), will show that they expect the fiscal year 2009 budget deficit to come in $2

New Health Care Links

There is still a ton of interesting writing about health care reform coming out daily and I am sure most of you are aware of the discussions taking place in Congressional districts across the country. I thought it would be good to provide some new links that we have been looking at this week.

Increasing The Debt Limit

Last Friday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to Congress requesting an increase in the statutory debt limit.  In the letter, Geithner noted:

"It is critically important that Congress act before the limit is reached so that citizens and investors here and around the world can remain confident that the United States will always meet its obligations."

Raising Taxes Without Taxing People?

Today’s Washington Post reports that the Senate Finance Committee has come up with a bipartisan plan that contains a new revenue offset (or “pay-for”) that’s more consistent with the goals of health reform (emphasis added):

CBO: The Health Reform Slopes Don’t Add Up

The Congressional Budget Office once again validates some intuition many of us had about health care reform: when you have health costs rising much faster than the economy is growing, a package that expands coverage but is unwilling to tax health ben

Iowa's Good Health (Care)

Yesterday, experts from the Iowa Committee for Value in Healthcare -- a diverse group of Iowa health care providers, purchasers, payers, patient advocates, and policy analysts -- sent a letter t

The President's Words

While the President's press conference Wednesday night got a lot of attention and focused substantially on health care, he also did an interview with Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt earlier in the day.