Tag: ‘Debt Limit’

Gimmicks Galore Litter the Boehner/Obama Budget Deal

By :: October 27th, 2015

There is a lot less than meets the eye to the budget deal agreed to last night by outgoing House Speaker John Boehner and the White House. The plan’s proposed new spending is real enough, but many of the spending reductions or new    revenues in the plan are wishful thinking at best. Overall, the agreement […]

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Dreaming Impossible Dreams

By :: October 19th, 2015

The House may have a bipartisan transportation bill. The measure would authorize highway spending for another six years. But while it sets $325 billion in infrastructure spending over six years, it guarantees only the first three years of funding. The last three years? Congress would have to “unlock” funding  after it identifies offsets. In other words, […]

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The Debt Limit: Here We Go Again

By :: October 15th, 2015

In less than a month—and in perhaps as little as 18 days– the federal government will be unable to pay its bills. Realistically, there is only one way to avoid such a fiscal mess: Congress must raise the federal debt limit so Treasury can borrow more money. But how will that happen? On one hand, […]

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On Budgeting, Patience, and Rube Goldberg

By :: March 17th, 2015

Out today: A first look at GOP budgets. The US hit its debt limit yesterday (at least technically), and the budget battles have begun. The Senate GOP budget resolution  reportedly won’t include detailed plans to overhaul entitlement programs—though the House GOP plan may. The Senate Budget panel version will propose only savings targets for Medicare […]

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Why the Next Debt Limit Debacle Might be Worse

By :: December 3rd, 2013

Congress’s latest flirtation with debt-limit default caused barely a ripple in the financial markets. Rates on short-term Treasuries spiked in early October, before quickly subsiding to more normal levels. The spread between one- and three-year Treasuries temporarily widened, but quickly fell back to a more normal trend. All told, financial markets barely blinked. Unfortunately, the […]

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How Washington May Turn June Into Fiscal February

By :: November 21st, 2013

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 […]

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Time to Fix the Budget Process

By :: November 4th, 2013

Congressional negotiators are trying to craft a budget deal by mid-December. Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square asked twelve experts what they hoped that deal would include. My suggestion: it’s time to fix the budget process: Odds are slim that the budget conference will deliver anything big on substance. No grand bargain, no sweeping tax reform, […]

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The Illogic of the McConnell Debt Limit Rule

By :: October 23rd, 2013

In the aftermath of the recent government shutdown and the painful negotiations that brought the country perilously close to defaulting on government debt, policy experts are searching for a way to avoid a replay of this crisis. After all, the recent congressional agreement only delays the next potential shutdown till January 15 and lifts the […]

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One Modest Path to a No-Drama Budget Deal

By :: October 17th, 2013

The conventional wisdom is that next January, Congress and President Obama will be in exactly the same place they’ve been for most of the past three weeks—deep in government shutdown mode. The argument: The recent fiscal battles that ended with last night’s short-term deal to reopen the government and reauthorize Treasury borrowing  buys time but […]

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Should We Eliminate the Extraordinary Measures?

By :: October 11th, 2013

You’ve probably heard that Treasury will hit the debt limit on October 17 and soon thereafter it won’t be able to pay all of America’s bills. That second part is true: Congress needs to act soon—preferably before the 17th—so Treasury doesn’t miss any payments. But the first part isn’t: Treasury actually hit the debt limit […]

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