January 22, 2017

Blogs

New Report on Nation’s Fiscal Health Shows Need for Broad Reforms

With a new administration coming into office, a report on the nation’s fiscal health provides a timely and emphatic reminder of the need for the new president and Congress to pursue sweeping long-term changes in the federal budget.

Released this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the report provides a good look at the nation’s unsustainable fiscal path and deserves close scrutiny by elected officials in both parties.

What's Another $9.1 Trillion?

An amazing thing happened in Washington last week. With the total national debt about to top $20 trillion and on an unsustainable long-term path, 376 members of the House of Representatives voted for one of two Fiscal Year 2017 budget resolutions that would add another $9.1 trillion to the debt over next 10 years.

One version was passed by the House with 227 Republican votes. Nine Republicans voted in opposition. The other version was a Democratic amendment that was defeated with 37 Democrats voting in opposition.

Questions and Concerns About GOP Health Care Plans

While the budget resolution that congressional Republicans approved last week was designed to speed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), budget analysts and some lawmakers in both parties have expressed understandable concerns about such hasty action before a replacement health care plan is ready.

$20 Trillion and Counting

Any day now the total debt of the United States government will top $20 trillion.

That eye-catching number should prompt all of us to reflect on what the growing debt means for future generations (a lot) and whether our elected officials have a plan to deal with it (they don’t).

The most important thing to recognize about the $20 trillion debt is that its size in dollar terms is not as important as the fact that it is on an unsustainable track.

ACA 'Repeal and Delay' Could Prove Fiscally Problematic

Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare while imposing a delay on replacement plans could prove to be fiscally problematic.

Trump's Budget Nominee Will Face Daunting Math

In selecting Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) as his budget director, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a strong advocate of balanced budgets accomplished through deep spending cuts.

Some Republican Leaders Encourage Offsets for New Proposals

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made headlines this week when he suggested that the

Stopgap Funding Bill Punts Critical Decisions into 2017

Once again, federal lawmakers have turned to a familiar tactic to keep the government operating and delay significant decisions to a later date: the Continuing Resolution (CR), a stopgap measure that generally extends federal funding at current levels.

The House and Senate left town last week after passing a CR to keep the government operating through next April, when the new fiscal year will be more than half finished. Many experts warn that CRs are irresponsible, short-sighted measures that merely punt serious fiscal decisions to a later date.

Former Ambassador and Three Former Congressmen Discuss Fiscal Challenges Facing Newly Elected Leaders

Three former congressmen and a retired U.S. ambassador warned of the difficult fiscal policy challenges facing the incoming Trump administration and congressional leaders at a forum last week in Concord, N.H.

Suppressed Pentagon Study Identified $125 Billion of Potential Savings

Many politicians, including the president-elect, have focused their efforts to improve the federal government’s finances on the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse.