May 28, 2017

swinn's blog

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.

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.