Proposals Fall Short on Budget Process Reform

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 11/19/2018 - 11:00

Amid bipartisan frustration over the federal budget process, Congress early this year created a special committee to develop reforms that could enable lawmakers to pass spending bills on schedule and in a more effective and thoughtful manner.

There were high hopes that the eight Democrats and eight Republicans on the committee would present sweeping recommendations.

Economist Mom Explains Obama Era Fiscal and Economic Policy

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 11/13/2018 - 10:11

Having entered the White House in the midst of the Great Recession, then President Obama spent much of his time in office trying to deal with the weakened economy. Tax cuts and stimulus spending measures contributed to high federal deficits for several years.

Hard Budget Work Awaits Lame Duck and New Congress

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 11/12/2018 - 10:29

Returning to Washington this week, Congress and President Trump face a pile of leftover budget work that they should try to complete with a greater sense of fiscal responsibility than they have shown in the recent past.

Even if the outgoing Congress can resist the temptation of a lame-duck borrowing spree, however, the new Congress elected last week will inherit massive fiscal problems that procrastination will only make more difficult to solve.

CEO's Simple Fix: Reform Spending and Revenue

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 18:07

Politicians do not want to address the nation’s debt issues because that would require both tax increases and reductions in spending on entitlement programs, said David Cote, former CEO of Honeywell.

“It is just basic math that no one wants to address,” he said on the latest “Facing the Future” program.

Election Winners Must Come to Grips With Fiscal Challenges

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:32

Congressional candidates have said little, if anything, about the federal government’s deteriorating finances. When the winners turn their attention to legislating, however, they will find that ignoring the problem did not make it go away.

The first budget they are charged with preparing, for Fiscal Year 2020, has a projected deficit of $1 trillion under current law.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Economist Mom: Lessons From the Clinton and G.W. Bush Years

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 10/30/2018 - 10:53

“Clinton came into the White House acknowledging that the deficit was a problem and that it was necessary to be a little more disciplined about tax cuts and spending going forward in his administration,” said Diane Lim, a principal at District Economics Group who served as an economist in that administration.

A Shell Game on Military Spending

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 10/29/2018 - 11:59

Since 2001 the Defense Department has received $2.2 trillion in special funding that has been on top of the basic defense budgets that Congress has approved through regular annual appropriations. That amounts to 20 percent of total defense appropriations over that period.

Budget Rhetoric Brings Heat But No Light

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:31

The Treasury Department’s final report for Fiscal Year 2018, showing a 17 percent ($113 billion) jump in the deficit, has drawn new attention to the nation’s worsening fiscal position and injected the issue into the midterm congressional campaigns.

The sobering report has not, however, brought about a more rational or realistic discussion on solutions.

Seven Reasons to Worry About High Federal Deficits

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 10/22/2018 - 09:44

How do high and rising federal deficits hurt ordinary Americans?

With the Treasury Department’s recent announcement that the deficit had climbed to $779 billion in the fiscal year that just ended -- a 17 percent increase over the previous year -- it’s a good time to think about some of the reasons why the public should care about such high government borrowing: