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Between a Mountain of Debt and a Fiscal Cliff: Finding a Smart Path Forward

March 29, 2012

At the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, many major fiscal events are set to occur all at once. They include the expiration of the 2001/03/10 tax cuts, the winding down of certain jobs provisions, the activation of the $1.2 trillion across-the-board “sequester,” an immediate and steep reduction in Medicare physician payments, the end of current AMT patches, and the need to once again raise the country’s debt ceiling.

CBO's Projections Show Need for Smart, "Go Big" Approach: Comparing Major Debt Reduction Plans

March 13, 2012

Today, CBO released its latest budget projections for the next ten years, again showing the appearance of a declining debt trajectory. These projections based on current law, however, do not incorporate the costs of current policies that lawmakers have extended many times in the past and are likely to do so again, such as the annual “patch” of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Primary Numbers: The GOP Candidates and the National Debt

February 23, 2012

The United States faces a number of serious fiscal and economic challenges. Federal budget deficits are projected for the foreseeable future, the economy remains weak, Social Security faces long-term financing concerns, health care spending is growing faster than the economy, tax policy is at a major crossroads, and our national debt continues to rise. Inattention to the ballooning national debt threatens to undermine the economy and our competitiveness, and could lead to a serious fiscal crisis.

Analysis of the President's FY 2013 Budget

February 16, 2012

On Monday, the White House released its FY 2013 budget. Our major findings include:

Analysis of CBO's Budget and Economic Projections and CRFB's Realistic Baseline

January 31, 2012

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its updated budget and economic projections today, showing the appearance of a sustainable debt trajectory over the next ten years. However, these projections do not incorporate the costs of policies lawmakers are very likely to continue, nor do they show the long-term costs of an aging population and growing health care costs beyond the ten year window.

Among our major findings based on the report:

MacGuineas Testimony Before House Rules Committee (Jan 2012)

January 24, 2012

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the important topic of fixing the budget process. It is a privilege to appear before the Committee.

What We Hope to See From the Extensions Conference Committee

January 25, 2012

At the end of last year, lawmakers enacted a temporary two-month extension of several policies set to expire, including the temporary payroll tax holiday, expanded unemployment insurance, the doc fix, and various health provisions. Encouragingly, the $33 billion cost of the extensions was fully offset over a ten-year period and a Conference Committee was appointed to determine how any further extensions would be treated.

The 12 Principles of Fiscal Responsibility for the 2012 Campaign

December 15, 2011
  1. Make Deficit Reduction a Top Priority.
  2. Propose Specific Fiscal Targets.
  3. Recommend Specific Policies to Achieve the Targets.
  4. Do No Harm.
  5. Use Honest Numbers and Avoid Budget Gimmicks.
  6. Do Not Perpetuate Budget Myths.
  7. Do Not Attack Someone Else's Plan Without Putting Forward an Alternative.
  8. Refrain From Pledges That Take Policies Off the Table.
  9. Propose Specific Solutions for Social Sec

Dealing with Expiring Provisions in a Fiscally Responsible Manner

December 12, 2011

At the end of this month, over 80 tax and spending policies are set to expire. How lawmakers deal with any extensions of these policies has important implications for the federal budget and could represent either a step forward for fiscal sustainability or else a step backward.

Going Big Means Don't Stop Until You Get Enough

November 16, 2011

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget – along with many other lawmakers, business leaders, former government officials, and policy experts – has called on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (“Super Committee”) to go beyond its current mandate of finding $1.5 trillion in savings to recommend two to three times as much in order to stabilize the federal debt and reduce it as a share of the economy.

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