September 1, 2014

Blogs

Wrestling With the Risks and Rewards of a Global Economy

Lately it seems impossible to talk about the U.S. economy’s ailments and challenges without mentioning the rest of the world.

National Health Expenditures: Good News Is Real But Likely Temporary

The Medicare actuaries have just updated their projections for National Health Expenditures (NHE) and the overall picture they illustrate is a welcome one, but likely reflects temporary factors and cannot serve as an excuse for politicans to rest on their laurels.

Constituents' Budget Decisions Impress Florida Congressman

Federal budgeting isn’t for the faint of heart. The tax code alone consists of tens of thousands of pages. Then there's the defense budget, the other eleven annual appropriations bills, Medicare, Medicaid, the need to modernize Social Security . . . the list goes on and on. Mix in some presidential and congressional politics, and it’s easy to see why even people with the best of intentions just cannot seem to get the country on a sustainable track for the long term.

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.