President Trump's Budget Is 'Incoherent'

Submitted by jgordon on Fri, 06/09/2017 - 15:30
In a recent op-ed Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, and Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, explain why they have shifted their grade on President Trump's proposed 2018 budget from "incomplete" in March to "incoherent" in its final form. They say the plan assumes away many problems and fails to confront many of the challenges that must be met to put the budget on a sustainable path. This column appeared on June 10 in the The Portsmouth Herald in New Hampshire.

Legislative Concerns About Trump's Budget

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 06/07/2017 - 16:14

The federal government’s financial problems are so large that all parts of the budget -- from entitlements to defense spending to tax breaks -- should be considered “on the table” for fiscal reform discussions.

Comprehensive, lasting reform will require substantial public sacrifice. As responsible elected officials in both parties have long recognized, this burden will need to be widely shared. Proposals that fail to spread the burden lack both mathematical and political credibility.

CBO Remains Essential to Responsible Budget Decisions

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 16:11

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is responsible for providing Congress and the American public with objective, detailed and non-partisan analysis of current fiscal trends and proposed legislation.

Given the difficulties of that assignment and the stakes that are often involved for elected officials, the CBO inevitably faces some political potshots and second-guessing. Over the years some of that has come from Democrats and some from Republicans.

N.H. Programs Encourage Young Adults to Focus on Fiscal Issues

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 16:10

After a recent “Budgets & Beers” presentation concerning federal budget problems -- notably a massive and growing debt -- I was asked: “What hope do we have for the future?”

That is a good question, one that comes up frequently when people begin to understand the depth of the country’s fiscal problems.

Fortunately, there is much hope  -- especially if younger Americans become more aware of our nation’s fiscal challenges and engaged in the search for solutions.   

Hassett Hearing Brings Realism to Economic Discourse

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 10:13

President Trump’s nominee for chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Kevin Hassett, appeared before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Mnuchin: Debt Limit Deadline May Be Sooner Than First Expected

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 05/31/2017 - 16:08

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned lawmakers recently that the deadline to raise or suspend the federal debt limit may be sooner than previously thought. The change is due to lower-than-expected tax receipts in April, which is typically the best month of the year for the government’s balance sheet due to tax-filing deadlines.

GOP Lawmaker Criticizes Administration's Growth Assumptions

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 05/31/2017 - 16:05

The Trump administration’s budget plan rests heavily on the assumption that the American economy will grow much more rapidly in the next decade than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and many private-sector economists have projected.

Social Security and Medicare Dominate Trump Spending Plan

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 05/30/2017 - 16:03

In presenting President Trump’s first budget to the House Budget Committee last week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that it “keeps the president’s promise to balance the budget within the next decade and reduce our debt without affecting beneficiaries of Social Security and Medicare retirement programs, and without raising taxes.”

The New Score of the AHCA

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 05/25/2017 - 16:02

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its cost estimate for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as passed in the House of Representatives on May 4. The estimate is that relative to current law the bill will decrease spending by $1,111.1 billion and decrease revenue by $992.4 billion, leading to a total deficit reduction of $118.7 billion over the 10-year budget window from 2017 to 2026. This is lower than the preliminary deficit reduction estimate of $336.5 billion from prior to last-minute amendments and the House vote.

'Fiscal Summit' Focuses on Debt, Need for Sustainability

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 05/24/2017 - 16:01

Leading policymakers in both parties, business leaders and prominent experts on the federal budget generally agreed at a Washington policy forum Tuesday that the United States faces difficult fiscal challenges and should act soon to deal with them.