Fiscal Future Daily: Feeling Free?
The Tax Foundation’s “Tax Freedom Day” calculation has been a staple of tax policy — and debate — for a long time now. The latest calculation is April 12. But tax rates and total amounts paid are only part of the tax puzzle we’ve got to solve.
Fiscal Future Daily: Deadlines, Timelines, and What Should Really Worry Us
The media coverage is getting more pessimistic about Congress’ ability to come up with a budget deal and avoid a government shutdown before the April 8 deadline. But April 8 isn’t the date we should be worried about.
Fiscal Future Daily: Ex-White House Advisers Speak Out on Unsustainable Debt
Ten former top White House economic advisers co-authored a piece today calling on Congress to take up serious consideration of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan. The crucial point is that they’re calling for a focus on the long-term budget problem, which has been all but lost in the last few weeks as Washington debates short-term spending.
Fiscal Future Daily: The Habits of Highly Effective Budget Wonks
Paging Steven Covey: A leading budget expert argues that the real reason our current fiscal debate is focused on all the wrong things may be a classic trap of time management: the urgent crowds out the important. So does it really take a fiscal crisis before we can have fiscal responsibility, or can we create the habits of a better-managed government?
Fiscal Future Daily: Please Mr. Postman, Take a Letter from the Senate
Nearly two-thirds of the United States Senate signed a letter asking President Obama to take the lead on coming up with a plan to address the deficit and national debt. Should we be impressed, or not? Plus, an elaborate baseball metaphor for the budget debates.
Fiscal Future Daily: ‘Not Much Difference’ Surges in Polls
Policymakers often throw up their hands when they see public opinion surveys on the budget, and two new surveys will probably be no exception. But a better understanding of how the public thinks about problems might make a difference in how budget wonks view the data.
Fiscal Future Daily: Of Mice and Men and Hawks and Pandas
Congress gave itself three more weeks to come up with a budget plan, as we see an institution that seems increasingly irritated with …itself. Plus, a case for a “deficit panda,” as opposed to a hawk, and other animal metaphors.
Fiscal Future Daily: The Uncertainty Factor
The House is supposed to vote on a three-week temporary spending plan today, as many members show growing irritation with the process and federal agencies put projects on hold because they don’t know whether they’ll have any money for them. Plus, a handy checklist to identify “special pleading” on the budget.
Fiscal Future Daily: The Art of (Edging Closer to) the Deal
A prominent budget expert says the chances for a broad-based budget deal have risen to 10 percent — and that’s cause for optimism. On the other hand, we’re still going to need a short-term fix to get through the next few weeks.
Fiscal Future Daily: It’s All in How You Count It, and Fear Through the Years
There’s some Congressional budget maneuvering today (there’s budget maneuvering every day) but the most interesting news is about how we measure our fiscal hole, and some historical perspective.