Posts Tagged ‘Congressional Budget Office’

A “Normal” Budget Isn’t Really Normal

Treasury closed the financial books on fiscal 2014 last week. As my colleague Howard Gleckman noted, the top line figures all came in close to their 40-year averages. The $483 billion deficit was about 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, for example, slightly below the 3.2 percent average of the past four decades. Tax revenues […]

Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?

Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and build the ovens, and her daughter will manage operations. A bank is ready to lend her $100,000 to get started, but it wants someone to co-sign and be on the hook if she misses any payments. She offers to pay […]

Congress Fiddles While Bridges Crumble

It isn’t news that congressional Democrats and Republicans have agreed to spend the time between now and the November elections messaging, rather than legislating. When it comes to domestic policy it has only two real issues on its must-do list: Deciding the fate of 50+ tax breaks that expired last December and figuring out what […]

The Cruel Political Paradox of Deficit Reduction

I was chatting the other day with a fellow budget wonk who noted the cruel paradox of fiscal politics: When the economy is bad, deficits rise and the public support for reducing them grows. Yet a poor economy is the worst possible time to raise taxes and cut spending. By contrast, a period of strong growth […]

Where Are Tax Rates Headed?

Effective tax rates have been rising since 2009 and will continue to rise for a few more years before they flatten out, according to Tax Policy Center projections. My TaxVox post earlier this week showed how average federal tax rates have changed over the past three decades. But that was based on a 30-year history […]

How Washington May Turn June Into Fiscal February

For those of you keeping score, the Congressional Budget Office now figures the next showdown over the nation’s debt limit will occur in March, or maybe as late as May or early June. That means up to six more months of fiscal uncertainty, unless Congress decides to kick the can further down the road before […]

Uncle Sam Is Smaller (Relatively) Than We Thought

At 8:30 this morning, Uncle Sam suddenly shrunk. Federal spending fell from 21.5 percent of gross domestic product to 20.8 percent, while taxes declined from 17.5 percent to 16.9 percent. To be clear, the government is spending and collecting just as much as it did yesterday. But we now know that the U.S. economy is […]

Immigration Pork

Do you think Congress really cares about the budget deficit anymore? Or that the age-old practice of buying lawmakers votes with local projects is really dead?  Just take a look at the Senate’s version of the immigration bill. Last Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office scored the Senate’s draft immigration bill as reducing the deficit by […]

Who Benefits from Tax Preferences? You Do.

The Congressional Budget Office report on the distribution of tax expenditures is getting lots of buzz, nearly all of it positive. This is a gratifying and somewhat surprising outcome. The paper confirms many of the findings of my Tax Policy Center colleagues who have done similar analyses in recent years. The basic story is pretty […]

Bowles-Simpson II: A New Plan to Avoid the Sequester

With 10 days to go until the dreaded sequester—the automatic across-the-board spending cuts that most lawmakers profess to hate—the Washington drama machine is starting to get in gear. Today, President Obama stood in front a group of uniformed first responders and warned darkly of layoffs if the spending cuts kick in. At the same time, […]