April 24, 2017

swinn's blog

Congress Must Act This Week to Avoid Partial Shutdown

Congress is again down to the wire on spending legislation for the current fiscal year, which is already half over. Returning to Washington after a 2-week recess, lawmakers need to take action before a stop-gap measure expires at midnight on Friday.

The alternative would be a shutdown for much of the government, wasting tax dollars and further diminishing public confidence in elected officials’ ability to take care of their fundamental budgetary responsibilities.

IRS Needs Adequate Funding to Explain, Enforce Complex Tax Code

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warned recently that funding constraints and staff reductions at his agency could result in fewer people paying their taxes and the government running higher budget deficits.

CBO Discusses Risks of a Fiscal Crisis

Experts on the federal budget often warn that excessive federal debt could eventually lead to a fiscal crisis. But what would that actually involve, and how could Washington respond to such a crisis?

Halfway Through Fiscal 2017, Congress Still Figuring Out the Plan

Many Americans are no doubt struggling to understand some of the latest news from Washington about the federal budget. That’s because elected officials in Washington are approaching their work on the Fiscal 2018 budget with some long-unfinished business: They have yet to agree on most of their spending plans for the current fiscal year.

How Tax Breaks Boost the Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released an overview of certain tax breaks -- known as “tax expenditures” -- that can provide elected officials and the public with helpful information as President Trump and many lawmakers shift their focus to revamping the tax code.

“Tax expenditures, projected to total more than $1.5 trillion in 2017, cause (federal) revenues to be lower than they would be otherwise and, like spending programs, contribute to the deficit,” the CBO said in a recent blog post.

Cutting Foreign Aid Is No Panacea

When The Concord Coalition presents its federal deficit-reduction exercise around the country, many of the participants arrive with what they consider an easy solution in mind: Cut foreign aid.

Just Paying For New Programs Won't Be Enough

In considering budget plans for the coming fiscal year, President Trump and lawmakers should keep in mind that under current law the federal government is already on track to run up deficits of nearly nine and a half trillion dollars, according to Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition.

Pension Protection Programs Need Further Repairs Soon

With large numbers of baby boomers moving into their retirement years, the federal government corporation that insures pension benefits for nearly 40 million workers and retirees faces growing difficulties that require Washington’s urgent attention.

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.