Long Ignored, Pension Problems Are Mounting

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:27

The Central States Pension Fund is warning the 400,000 retirees and workers it covers that it will be insolvent by the start of 2025 and is urging them to push Congress to pass legislation to protect their benefits.

Who Will Make the Serious Decisions?

Submitted by jgordon on Sun, 05/06/2018 - 21:22

During the most recent episode of “Facing the Future,” I took some time to focus on the state-level impacts of federal budget policy. The Concord Coalition recently partnered with the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute to conduct a state/federal budget exercise with class members of “Leadership New Hampshire.”

GAO Suggests Ways to End Duplication, Save Money

Submitted by swinn on Thu, 05/03/2018 - 10:23

Congress and the Trump administration could save tens of billions of dollars by acting to improve efficiency and effectiveness in dozens of federal programs that range from Medicare to military purchasing to storage of radioactive waste, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

A Bad Time to Skip Budget Resolution

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:42

As lawmakers start to move forward on spending legislation for the Fiscal 2019, it seems increasingly likely that they will skip an essential first step in the congressional budget process: Passing a budget resolution.

If they skip it, they will be neglecting one of their most fundamental responsibilities. A budget resolution provides the overall framework that is supposed to guide the House and Senate as they prepare for the coming fiscal year and beyond.

Bringing Budgets to Life

Submitted by swinn on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 17:36

Through taxes and a wide array of programs and benefits, the federal budget affects every person and community in the country. Yet many Americans -- including some who serve in Congress or work in federal agencies -- have only limited knowledge of current budget issues and the difficult long-term fiscal challenges facing the United States.

Others Dig Out of Debt; U.S. Digs Deeper

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 12:02

The United States has earned a dubious distinction, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF): It is the only economically advanced country in the world that plans to dig itself deeper into debt over the next five years.

The IMF is generally concerned about high government debt in economically advanced countries, which have debt-to-GDP ratios that are “at levels not seen since World War II.” Public debt ratios, the IMF says, have been “increasing persistently” over the past 50 years.

Health Care and the Budget

Submitted by swinn on Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:27

Former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey warned recently that U.S. health care spending is on an unsustainable path as it continues a long pattern of growing as a percentage of the economy.

CBO’s Economic Outlook: Four Takeaways

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:09

As Congress and President Trump agreed in the last few months to dramatically increase federal borrowing, there have been a lot of breezy assurances that rapid and sustained economic growth will take care of everything.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) offers a more thoughtful -- and more troubling -- economic analysis as part of its recently released “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2018 to 2028.” Four key takeaways from that analysis:

Trillions and Trillions in Deficits

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:36

Guests on “Facing the Future” last week lamented new projections of trillion-dollar federal deficits beginning in Fiscal 2020 and discussed how recent tax and spending decisions had contributed to the problem.