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

Signs of Fiscal Life on Capitol Hill

August 02, 2016

In the midst of a “bleak” time for the nation’s long-term finances, Phil LaRue, The Concord Coalition’s director of government relations, recently noted three small signs of fiscal life in Washington.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Social Security and Medicare trustees continue to point out the dangerous consequences of continued failure to put federal finances on a sustainable path. But some lawmakers and candidates are promising large new tax cuts or benefit increases without considering their costs, LaRue writes in a blog post.