Tax Overhaul Concerns

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 13:45

House Republican leaders are scheduled to unveil specifics of their tax overhaul plan this week, a plan that Republicans hope to push through Congress in a matter of weeks. While the inefficient, overly complex tax code has long needed reform, there are several big concerns about the current effort:

1. Republicans should rethink their plans to increase the federal deficit to finance the tax cuts.

Both Sides Are Guilty of Budget Gimmicks

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 10/26/2017 - 16:02
Policymakers in both parties often want to take credit for responsibly offsetting the costs of popular tax cuts or spending increases, but without actually making the hard choices necessary to do so. That would require higher taxes or lower spending in other parts of the budget. So politicians frequently employ budget gimmicks designed to hide the true costs of their decisions. For our leaders to address the nation’s fiscal challenges, these gimmicks need to stop.

Senate Takes Misguided Approach with Deficit-Financed Tax Cuts

Submitted by jgordon on Fri, 10/20/2017 - 12:23

The Concord Coalition said today that the Senate, in adopting a Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution calling for deficit-financed tax cuts of up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, has abandoned fiscal responsibility and embraced deepening debt as a misguided economic growth strategy.

Bipartisan Health Care Fix Would Move the Ball Forward

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 10/19/2017 - 12:58

The bipartisan effort led by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray represents an important, fiscally responsible step towards getting the country past an immediate crisis in insurance markets so that we can move on to debate necessary longer-term health care system reforms.

PAYGO is an Important Standard

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 10/18/2017 - 09:47
Most people agree that current fiscal policies are unsustainable. It is thus a matter of common sense to require those who want to enact new tax cuts or entitlement expansions -- both of which would enlarge the structural deficit -- to put forward spending cuts or tax increases to pay for them. This is the simple concept behind PAYGO (shorthand for Pay-As-You-Go).

25 Years of Fiscal Policy Education, and a Look at Future Challenges

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 11:59

At a public forum last week in New Hampshire, former U.S. senators Judd Gregg and Kent Conrad warned of difficult federal budget decisions ahead and urged elected officials to pursue more sustainable fiscal policy solutions.

Gregg, a Republican from New Hampshire, and Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, participated in a public forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College on Oct. 12 in Manchester. The event was one of several this year marking The Concord Coalition’s 25th anniversary.

Iowans, Playing Role of Lawmakers, Slice U.S. Deficits

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 10/16/2017 - 22:06

While elected officials in Washington are considering various proposals that would increase the federal deficit, dozens of Iowa residents demonstrated in a recent budget exercise that they strongly favor moving in the opposite direction -- one that would substantially reduce projected government borrowing in the next few years.

The Crazy Debt Limit Should Go

Submitted by ahunt on Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:05

The original purpose of the statutory debt limit was to remove the requirement that Congress authorize individual issuances of debt, rather than keep the government from acquiring too much debt. In a guest opinion piece in The Hill, Robert Bixby and James Carter write that today the debt limit is doing more harm than good. Read the full article here.

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Are You Up to the Budget Challenge?

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 16:45
Last month the U.S. national debt surpassed $20 trillion for the first time in history. It is clear that our nation’s fiscal path is unsustainable. Unfortunately, in Washington our elected officials are kicking the can down the road and avoiding the tradeoffs required to reduce projected deficits that will add to the debt. Our online budget exercise, The Federal Budget Challenge, will give you the chance to step up and try your hand at putting the nation on a better fiscal path.