October 30, 2014

Blogs

There Is Consensus On Health Care Reform Next Steps -- Post One of Three

This is post one of a three-part series on the developing consensus for the next steps on health care reform. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Driven to Distraction -- and Creative Accounting

Although Congress has plenty of serious budget work to do, lawmakers in both parties can’t seem to resist frittering away time and confusing the public with various proposals that serve no useful purpose. Last week offered a couple good examples.

Might Health Care Reform Be the 'Grand Bargain'?

Last Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Health Care Cost Containment Initiative released a comprehensive plan to increase efficiency and reduce costs while reorienting the nation’s health care system to become more patient-centered. That combination would ideally lead not only to a more sustainable fiscal future but to better health care as well.

Simpson-Bowles Plan Could Play Vital Role in Moving Towards Compromise

The new budget plan released recently by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles once again demonstrates that it is possible to bring the deficit under control using a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases without harming the near-term economy.

It is not a plan for partisan purists, and that is why it could play a vital role in the coming months as Democrats and Republicans struggle to find a way forward on a budget compromise.

Surpluses as Far as the Eye Can See? It All Comes Down to Assumptions

Is the federal budget heading for unsustainable deficits or unsustainable surpluses?

It all depends on the long-term assumptions. 

Moving On From the Budget Fantasy League

Opening Day for the baseball season has come and gone in Washington but for the budget season it comes on Wednesday, when the President officially unveils his Fiscal Year 2014 proposals. Will he get a hit or be sent back to the bench?

Early indications are that he will at least put the ball in play, and that’s a promising start.

Left Behind in Wealth Accumulation, Younger Americans Face Difficult Financial Challenges

Most plans to put the federal budget on a more sustainable path make a crucial assumption: That today’s younger workers will pay more of their own retirement costs than previous generations have.

By setting aside more money for retirement, the thinking goes, these younger workers can enable the federal government to reduce the high projected growth of Social Security and Medicare. They should theoretically be able to do this because they have more time to save large amounts of money and to let those savings compound.

The Peace Process – For Washington

President Obama is back home after a diplomatic mission to the Middle East in which he exhorted the Israeli people, particularly young Israelis, to ignore the competing claims of extremists and take the push for peace into their own hands. His speech on this topic at the Jerusalem International Convention Center seems to have hit a responsive chord.

With Budget Plans on the Table, Time for Serious Negotiations

Today the Senate Budget Committee considered the budget resolution that Chairman Patty Murray released yesterday. The blueprint calls for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit and lower the debt-to-GDP ratio. Under Murray’s plan, the deficit would fall to $566 billion (2.2 percent of GDP) by 2023.

Budget Process Is Answer to Sequestration Axe

Back in August of 2011, with the nation’s debt bumping up against its statutory limit and an election year looming, President Obama and Congress made a deal.

They would empower a special committee (the “super committee”) to reach a long-term budget deal worth $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction and give that deal a fast-track path to enactment. All options for cutting spending or raising revenues would be on the table.