The American public has seen it all -- a government shutdown for the first time in 18 years, and what seems like the strongest partisan gridlock in history. Well, time is almost up again.
While we applaud Senator Warren and Paul Krugman for their unequivocal stance not to cut but to expand the benefits of social security, we believe we can be much bolder.
It should be no surprise that it has taken so long for a prominent member of the American policy elite to suggest openly to his colleagues that the core assumption upon which they have been managing the economic crisis might be dead wrong.
The Congress is beginning negotiations on the budget. If the end result is a budget dominated by tax increases and discretionary spending cuts, the deficit will be lower but the unfairness will be magnified.
The big question for Democrats is this: What kind of deal is worse than the sequester, which Paul Ryan has said is the Republicans' fallback position. In other words, what would make Democrats throw up their hands and say: "You want it? You got it." -- and mean it?
Our leaders like to call their strategy borrowing, but it is really tantamount to stealing -- from our children, worse yet. Why? Because we have no plans to pay the debt.
Let's accept the premise that U.S. federal debt is out of control and cannot be reined in by efficiency in the health care sector. The way the government is cutting the deficit is the absolutely, objectively worst way the government could cut the deficit.
NIF is a nonpartisan network of educational and community organizations that regularly convene people to exchange views on major issues. Throughout 2011 and 2012, the group brought typical citizens together to deliberate on options for tackling the debt.
The folks making economic policy in Washington are getting ever more resistant to evidence. As we approach the sixth anniversary of the downturn with no end in sight, the nation has been treated to the perverse spectacle of our Treasury Secretary celebrating the sharp drop in the deficit.
It takes bold leadership for Congress to take the long view. Historically, such leadership has happened when there has been a clear and present danger to the nation.
Washington's obsession with tax cuts and deficit reduction is distracting the American people from the slow dismantling of the social contract, and its devastating impact -- financial and otherwise -- on all but the wealthiest among us.
Although it's been a week heavy on Obamacare, we're going to (mostly) look forward this week, to the upcoming budget battles. Because buried in the Obamacare stories this week was one very important bit of news.
The most likely consequence of the sequestration will be be slower growth and lower tax revenues, and it's a distinct possibility that the sequestration could actually increase the deficit.
The Treasury today released the data for the fiscal year 2013 budget deficit, which amounted to $680 billion, or 4.1 percent of GDP, down about $400 billion from last year's deficit, which was 6.8 percent of GDP. The 2.7 percentage point drop came from 1.5 ppts higher tax receipts and 1.2 ppts lower outlays (both relative to GDP). That's the largest one year decline in the budget deficit since 1969. The deficit is down 6 percentage points of GDP since 2009 -- the largest four-year decline since 1950. We're engaged in a level of budget austerity that would make a European policy maker proud.
Following an extended government shutdown and the ugly showdown over the federal debt ceiling, both parties need to find bipartisan solutions to critical problems in order to rehabilitate their credibility with the American public.
As another historically low Social Security COLA is announced for 2014, our country faces two distinct challenges in budget and retirement security policy. The Budget Committee must deal with a range of challenges relating to restoring equitable growth and opportunity.