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August 8, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | Economic SnapshotCanceling the automatic, across-the-board spending reductions known as the “sequester” today would have a sizable short-term impact on our economy, according to a recent letter from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to House Budget Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
July 11, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogIt looks like House Republicans are at it again. With another deadline for a congressional vote to raise the debt ceiling looming this fall, recent reporting confirms that House Republicans are strategizing on how to best hold hostage the full faith and credit of the United States in return for even more spending cuts.
June 12, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | Economic SnapshotState budgets rely heavily on federal funding— in 2011, federal grants to state and local governments totaled $607 billion. The sequestration cuts that went into effect on March 1 are a prime example of the impact federal fiscal policy decisions can have on state and local budgets, as well as their overall economies.
June 7, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogAs we’ve discussed, the sequestration enacted March 1 cut federal spending by $85.3 billion for fiscal year 2013. The sequester not only cut money allocated to federal programs, but also meant reductions for federal spending at the state and local level.
May 31, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogEvery year since 1941, the Social Security Trustees have issued a report on the long-term financial outlook of Social Security. The 2013 report is out today, along with the Medicare trustees report.
May 29, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | Issue BriefStates rely on grants from the federal government to help with the efficient provision of necessary services. However, federal spending cuts are hitting many states hard—and states were already hurting before the latest round of cuts.
Differences between House Republicans’ and Senate Democrats’ proposed funding allocations reveal their priorities
May 24, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogAlthough the House and Senate have yet to reconcile their respective budget resolutions, the House Appropriations Committee forged ahead and recently approved a GOP spending plan for fiscal year 2014, capping base discretionary funding at $967 billion—the level set by the sequestration.
May 17, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogThough it didn’t get much attention, Democrats on the House Committee on Appropriations recently released a report on the effects of sequestration (pdf) and efforts to mitigate its impact.
May 10, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogThis week, the seemingly never-ending fiscal policy skirmishes on Capitol Hill revolved around proceeding to a conference committee to hammer out an FY2014 joint budget resolution compromise.
April 18, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | Issue BriefThere remains substantial scope for raising revenue to ease budgetary pressures and finance job creation policies. The challenges of stabilizing the long-term fiscal outlook, returning to a full-employment economy, and strengthening the middle class necessitate raising more revenue fairly and efficiently.
April 11, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogYesterday the president released his FY2014 budget request. While there is a lot to be commended in the budget (canceling sequestration cuts, calling for an (admittedly insufficient) increase in the minimum wage, infrastructure investment, creating a “Buffett rule”) there is also plenty to dislike.
March 15, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogPaul Ryan’s FY2014 budget alternative was released earlier this week, and though titled Path to Prosperity, a more appropriate title would be “Path of Austerity.” Ryan’s budget alternative dwarfs the austerity already hitting the economy, such as the expiration of the payroll tax cut, the Budget Control Act spending caps, and the sequestration cuts that just went into effect.
February 6, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogYesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their updated budget baseline in the February 2013 Budget and Economic Outlook report. One interesting takeaway is that projected deficits for the new ten-year budget window are $7 trillion, whereas last August the agency projected $2.3 trillion in total deficits over 2013-22.1 Why such a large change in projected deficits?
January 7, 2013 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogAs my colleague Larry Mishel wrote in a post last week, “Fighting to preserve social insurance (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) benefits that the broad middle class depends on and making the public investments we need for growth and equity requires winning the battle over more revenues in the budget negotiations ahead.” This task will prove far more difficult now that the Bush-era income tax rate cuts have been made permanent for all taxpayers earning less than $400,000 ($450,000 for joint filers), making them a permanent part of the legislative landscape moving forward.
‘Small business’ and top marginal rates: Tax filers affected by proposed rate increases are not necessarily small, or businesses, or job creators
December 13, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | Issue BriefThe Bush-era tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire once again, this time at the end of calendar year 2012, and an argument heard repeatedly is that returning the top two marginal income tax rates to 36 and 39.6 percent (from 33 and 35 percent) will drag on job creation by “small businesses.”
December 6, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogA vital goal of economic policy should be to raise the living standards of the millions of American households who have seen their wages and living standards stagnate or decline over the last few decades.
November 19, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogLast Friday, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation held an event called “The Fiscal Cliff and Beyond.” The event both highlighted the results of the Solutions Initiative II (in which EPI took part) and convened discussion panels around the topic of the fiscal cliff as well as longer-term fiscal and economic issues.
October 24, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | Analysis and OpinionThe Budget for All, a budget alternative adopted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and supported by 78 members of the House of Representatives during a floor vote this past spring, is back in the limelight as a referendum on Massachusetts ballots this November.
October 12, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogLast night’s vice presidential debate was a good, lively, back-and-forth between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.). The statement I singled out below was one that I found troubling (among a few)—and one that does a huge disservice in informing American voters on what changes in tax policy essentially mean.
October 4, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogJobs were, not surprisingly, a big topic in last night’s presidential debate. President Obama, however, did not seize the opportunity to discuss his administration’s job creation record and substantive job creation proposals—in particular the American Jobs Act (AJA), which would provide a quantifiably substantial economic boost but has largely been stonewalled by the House of Representatives for more than a year.
September 28, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogA Bloomberg article from yesterday highlighted the fact that a trust set up by Mitt Romney to benefit his children and grandchildren relied heavily on tax loopholes for maximum returns.
August 23, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | Economic SnapshotWith presidential campaign season in full force, much of the spotlight has been on federal budget deficits, and Medicare in particular.
August 14, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogAs this week brings us both the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate and Social Security’s 77th birthday (today, August 14), it seems appropriate to focus our lens on Social Security from Ryan’s perspective.
July 19, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | Economic SnapshotThe Bush-era tax cuts, initially set to expire at the end of 2010 but temporarily extended by President Obama in exchange for the passage of fiscal support policies by a divided Congress, are set to expire again at the end of 2012.
July 12, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | Economic SnapshotPresident Obama began this week calling on Congress to pass a one-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 in adjusted gross income ($200,000 for single filers).
June 27, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogIn the New York Times this past weekend, Ezekiel Emanuel laid out a proposal to allow Social Security retirees to donate a portion of their benefits to a fund that would invest in a child’s health, education, and living standards.
May 16, 2012 | By Rebecca Thiess | BlogYesterday, I attended the third annual Peterson Fiscal Summit, a gathering sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The event brought together a number of inside-the-beltway folks to speak on the fiscal challenges facing this country, ranging from the fairly reasonable to the rather unreasonable.