April 26, 2017

Blogs

Boosting Growth Through Fiscal Policy

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office published a blog exploring the role of fiscal policy in improving economic productivity. The subject is particularly interesting given how frequently politicians propose to pay for their agendas, be they tax cuts or spending increases, with dubious claims of improved economic growth. CBO identified four main fiscal tools that can actually result in increased growth through higher productivity:

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.

Trump's Troublesome Tweet on the Debt

President Trump’s Saturday morning tweet on the national debt left many budget watchers scratching their heads about its dubious factoid and irrelevant comparison.

Here’s what Trump said:

“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.”

The facts are accurate but meaningless.

CBO Report Shows 'Welfare' Isn't Driving Deficits

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that non-health means-tested government programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are growing at a much slower rate than other federal benefit programs. The report analyzed both spending trends over the past decade and projections for the upcoming decade.

New Report on Health Care Costs Should Provide Focus for Secretary Price

In the release of their annual projections for National Health Expenditures (NHE), the federal government's chief health care actuaries see the sector growing to represent one-fifth of the entire economy by 2025 (up from 18 percent in 2016). Understanding this growth and how to moderate it should be front-and-center for newly confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

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.

Trump Needs a Wall of Fiscal Discipline

In an interview on Fox News last week, President Trump said that he would like to have a balanced budget “eventually,” but not at the expense of higher spending for the military.