Fiscal Future Daily: A Possible Reprieve, the Cost of Cuts, and America: the Business Model
It looks like both parties in Congress have a plan to avert a government shutdown, at least for a couple more weeks, while they work out a more comprehensive deal. But what that deal might be is another question – and a report expected from Moody’s today warns that cuts could cost jobs. Also worth [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: Slouching Toward Shutdown
There are real issues and values at stake in the budget debate, but today most of the coverage is entranced by the dramatic possibilities of the government actually shutting down next week if the Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on at least a temporary spending bill. Could it happen? Would it make a difference? And [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: Charts! We’ve Got Charts!
The budget debate is usually a blizzard of numbers, which the average person has tremendous trouble sorting out. That’s where charts come in handy, and today we’ve devoted the daily to a few good examples – and an opportunity for you to get in on this yourself. What We’re Actually Spending The White House’s [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: The Crisis Approaches, But First a Recess
Congress is on its President’s Day recess this week, which means legislators will only have one week to work out a deal to avoid a government shutdown on March 4, when the latest temporary spending bill runs out. What would running out of money actually mean? A lot has changed since the last time it [...]
Tax Talk (Long Before April 15, But Nonetheless Timely)
The politically volatile subject of taxes was back in the air on Capitol Hill today, as the Senate got a visit from Timothy Geithner, who told the Finance Committee that there is no strategy to bring deficits down to sustainable levels by focusing only on discretionary spending cuts. “That,” said the Treasury Secretary, answering questions [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: It’s The Spork of Budgets, But Would It Actually Control the Debt?
Nobody’s really happy about President Obama’s budget request, but as several commentators point out, it was probably designed to be that way. But one major goal was to put the ball in Congress’ court, and start the long, potentially ugly process of negotiation that’s going to be necessary to get to solutions. If you [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: Starting From Here: Obama Submits His Budget Request
Two things to consider as you read about President Obama’s budget request, which calls for record deficits next year but also includes more than $1 trillion in cuts over the longer term. First, as a lot of commentators are pointing out, the budget doesn’t address the biggest sources of our mounting national debt, namely the [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: Two Budgets At Once
As Ezra Klein points out today, Washington is essentially going to end up arguing about two budgets at once next week. One budget, starting with the request President Obama is scheduled to release Monday, is about the next fiscal year. The other is about getting through this year, since Congress has been unable to pass [...]
Bernanke: What Future Standards Of Living Will Be Like If Deficit Is Not Brought Under Control
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who today made one of his regular appearances testifying before Congress, continues to argue that the country has to do something to get its budget under control. Speaking of budgets, President Obama is expected to submit his to Congress on Monday, and there’s already debate over one major initiative: a [...]
Fiscal Future Daily: Will You Miss Earmarks When They’re Gone?
We figured something like this story in The New York Times about the backlash to a ban on earmarks would get written eventually, because it is in fact part of budget reality: some people really want earmarks, and some programs funded by earmarks are completely justified. But that also makes a broader point: Some things [...]