July 23, 2014

Blogs

Foreign aid: A very small part of the deficit solution

By Rebecca Williams 

A viable plan to reduce our country’s mounting deficits and debt will be built on painful choices that include revenue increases and cuts to all government spending, including entitlements and defense. With such thorny issues at stake, it should come at no surprise that many policymakers turn to the easy issue first -- foreign aid. Even here, though, there are no exceptions to the need for government to act and spend strategically.

Trustees' New Projections Show Why Entitlement Reform Can't Wait

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Anyone wondering why Social Security and Medicare should be “on the table” in budget negotiations need look no further than the 2011 Trustees’ Report issued on May 13.

Do You Believe in Magic -- or Deficit Reduction?

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Elected officials in both parties have made what I call “magical, mystery tax pledges” that are at odds with bipartisan approaches to serious deficit reduction:

The President's Debt Tour: "Game On" but to What End?

House Republicans have adopted a budget they say will make tough but necessary spending cuts to rein in our nation’s burgeoning budget deficits. President Obama says the Republican plan is too radical. He hit the road last week to sell his own deficit reduction plan, which he says is more balanced.

So, it’s “game on.”

But just what is the purpose of this game?

Let's Look at How We Spend, Not Just How Much

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Here is a trivia question: Under which scenario would Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid make up the larger share of non-interest (i.e. “primary”) federal government spending?

A. President Obama’s budget

A Budget Debate Three Stooges Style

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Moe, Larry and Curly are fighting in the back seat of the car. No one is in the driver’s seat. As the boys settle down, Curly looks up and says, “Hey, don’t look now but we’re about to be killed.”

Leave it to The Three Stooges to provide the perfect metaphor for what passes as a budget debate in Washington these days.

It appears that we’re headed for a government shutdown in April and a possible default in May all because politicians can’t stop squabbling over a few billion dollars from a small slice of the budget while our overall fiscal policy is headed for a cliff.

An Update on Ryan's Dilemma

Budget-watchers in Washington are quite interested in how Republican Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, will write a budget that will achieve the numerous and sometimes conflicting aims of his conference.

Economic Report of the President Omits Some Important Points

Even if the new Economic Report of the President had actually discussed better ways to raise revenue or to make Social Security and Medicare programs more sustainable, it would have judiciously avoided using the controversial words “taxes” or “entitlements.”