Analysis & Indicators

Blog Post

It’s Important to Distinguish Between Short-term Cyclical Deficits and Long-term Structural Deficits

July 27, 2017
Not all deficits are created equal. In designing policy responses, it is important to distinguish between “cyclical” and “structural” deficits. Cyclical deficits are caused by a weak economy. Recessions drive down government revenue because many workers and businesses are no longer earning as much taxable income. At the same time, government spending rises because more people need assistance through programs such as Medicaid, unemployment benefits and food stamps.

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Blog Post

Trump's Troublesome Tweet on the Debt

February 27, 2017

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

Blog Post

Trump Needs a Wall of Fiscal Discipline

January 30, 2017

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.