Analysis & Indicators

Blog Post

Trust Fund Accounting Obscures Fiscal Problems of Social Security and Medicare

July 20, 2017
Every year the trustees of Social Security and Medicare issue detailed reports on the financial status of these programs. While the trustees’ reports consistently warn that both programs face serious shortfalls, the urgency of this warning is often undercut by undue attention to the years in which the Social Security trust funds and the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund are projected to become insolvent.
In the News

K Street Ups Pressure for Congress to Raise Debt Limit

July 17, 2017
CQ Roll Call
Topics
Debt Limit
Discretionary Spending
Economy
Federal Budget

Lobbyist for financial services and business groups are putting more pressure on Congress to quickly raise the debt limit and fund the government “without drama,” according to a July 17 s

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Blog Post

Popular Options, Like Cutting Waste, Fraud and Abuse or Growing our Way Out of Debt, are Not Enough

July 06, 2017
Many politicians who want to simultaneously receive credit for promoting fiscal responsibility while avoiding the tough decisions required often look for easy solutions. The two most common of these are pledges to cut “waste, fraud and abuse” and to “grow our way out of the problem.” These supposedly easy options, however, are not enough to address our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.
Blog Post

Demographics Drive Our Long-Term Fiscal Challenges

July 06, 2017
The heart of the nation’s long-term fiscal challenge is a changing demographic landscape. The ongoing retirement of the baby boom generation will continue to slow the growth rate of the workforce, which will slow potential economic growth (GDP) compared to earlier decades. According to CBO, the average annual growth rate of potential labor was 1.4 percent from 1950 to 2016. Due mostly to the baby boomer retirements, CBO projects that rate will fall to just 0.5 percent by 2027.
Blog Post

Fiscal Policy Remains Unsustainable

July 05, 2017
While much has changed in the past 25 years, this fundamental reality has not: Federal budget policy remains on an unsustainable track, driven by structural forces that increase federal spending faster than revenues.