February 23, 2017

swinn's blog

A Roadmap for Savings, Better Tax Collection

President Trump and many lawmakers in both parties have promised to attack waste and substantially improve government efficiency.

Rising Interest Costs Increase Pressure on the Budget

With interest rates in recent years far below traditional levels, it has been easy for American taxpayers and their political leaders to overlook one of the chief drawbacks of the federal debt: the borrowing costs.

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.

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.

Treasury Nominee’s Remarks Raise Questions About Trump Tax Plan

No sooner had Steven Mnuchin confirmed that he was the President-elect’s pick for Treasury secretary than he raised eyebrows in both parties by saying that the new administration’s tax plan would not give an overall tax cut to high-income households.

Dismayed Over Federal Budget, Some Experts See Positive State Examples

Federal officials could take some lessons from the success that many state leaders have had in putting together responsible budgets, according to former elected officials and others at a recent  panel discussion in Washington.

Despite Short-Term Drop in Deficit, Key Fiscal Challenges Remain

The administration trecently confirmed a bit of good news about the last fiscal year: the government borrowed substantially less than it did the year before.

But this drop, in line with a previous projection by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is no reason for complacency. The additional borrowing has still pushed the federal debt to well over $17.8 trillion, and the government remains on track to boost that by $7.2 trillion or more in the coming decade.

Concord Coalition Program Highlights Need for Reform -- and Political Divisions That Get in the Way

Short-term improvements in the federal government’s finances have led to widespread complacency in Washington about fiscal reform.

To Prevent Future Crises, Budget Experts Say, Washington Must Step Up Its Game

If the recent past is any indication of how elected officials will deal with the country’s short- and long-term fiscal challenges, Americans – and especially younger ones – are in trouble.

Washington will have to step up its game.  And ordinary Americans can help by encouraging their elected representatives to forgo political  theatrics in favor of timely budgets and more responsible policies.

Budget Experts Call for Stronger Political Leadership – and a Little Less Stupidity, Please

Reflecting the sour public mood towards Washington, a panel of experts on the federal budget described themselves Thursday night as worried, puzzled, frustrated and disappointed as the fiscal stalemate dragged on.

They faulted top political leaders and other elected officials in both parties for irresponsibility, inflexibility and, in some cases, a lack of common sense.