September 2, 2014

Blogs

If Successful, New Efficiency Efforts Would Be Steps in the Right Direction

If the Obama administration follows through on its newly announced effort to identify and weed out unproductive federal programs, it could build public confidence and support for more sweeping fiscal reforms in the future.

Yes, Fiscal Hawks Can Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time

The Obama administration has announced a very small effort to reduce deficit spending, and yet liberal groups are attacking them for promoting a policy that will kill the economy – or at least prolong the recession. And conservatives continue to argue that any “stimulus” spending is by definition “wasteful” – especially if they don’t get how a less-idle economy might benefit themselves personally.

Economic Recovery and Other Uncertainties Are No Excuse For Failure to Plan A More Responsible Fiscal Course

How large is the federal debt? That's something of a trick question in economic circles, and some analysts believe it may have already tripped up the President's fiscal commission.

Efforts to Reduce Structural Deficits Must Mean More Than Rigging the Scorecard

Public concern about the nation’s rising debt burden is beginning to have an impact on the legislative agenda.  

That much was evident as the House passed a scaled back “extenders” bill (H.R. 4213) on May 28 by a slim margin. Originally estimated to have a gross cost of $192 billion and a net deficit increase of $134 billion, the final bill carried a gross cost of $114 billion and a net deficit increase of $54 billion.

An update on budget news

Below are a few budget items we have been following, since the last edition of the Washington Budget Report (

Budget Story Update

While we publish a weekly Washington Budget Report (sign up here), we wanted to direct your attention to some other budget items we are watching this week.

House Considers Extenders Bill Adding $167 Billion to the Deficit Over Five Years

The extenders bill that the House will consider this week is a timely reminder of why it is important for Congress to complete action on a budget resolution.  A budget resolution continues to elude Congress, but there has been considerably less trouble reaching

Who should pay the costs of the oil spill? All of us, really.

 

recent story on CNN-Money by Steve Hargreaves asks “What will BP really pay?” I think a more fundamental question to ask at this point is “What should BP pay? And should no one else?” As the story explains (emphasis added):

Fiscal Commission’s short-term goal is a distraction

President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission will hold its first meeting on April 27. It has two very ambitious assignments -- find a way to balance the budget excluding interest on the debt by 2015 and “meaningfully improve” the long-term fiscal outlook. All of this is supposed to be done by December 1, 2010.

That’s quite a task. It may even be too much to ask. So here is a simple suggestion for the commission: Leave the short-term goal to the regular budget process and focus on the more important long-term goal.