Tag: ‘Debt Limit’

Latest House Debt Limit Plan Will Accomplish Nothing

By :: October 10th, 2013

Washington may be about to do what it does best–kick the can down the road. House Republicans have tentatively agreed on a plan to extend the debt limit for about six weeks while keeping the government partially shuttered. Their idea: use the shutdown as a stick to get Democrats to negotiate over “pressing problems,” including more […]

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It is Never Good When the U.S. Treasury Gets Compared to Brazil

By :: October 8th, 2013

The other day, I was talking to a guy who closely watches Washington for big foreign investors. Like most of us, his clients are struggling to understand the debate over the fate of the debt limit. He told me about one investor who asked whether it would be considered a default if Treasury made its […]

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Actually, the United States Has Defaulted

By :: October 4th, 2013

Since the day of Alexander Hamilton, the United States has never defaulted on the federal debt. That’s what we budget-watchers always say. It’s a great talking point. One that helps bolster the argument that default should not be an option in Washington’s latest debt limit showdown. There’s just one teensy problem: it isn’t exactly true. […]

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Government Shutdowns Threaten To Become The New Normal

By :: October 3rd, 2013

President Obama must continue to refuse to negotiate policy while the government is shut down. If he does not hold firm on this principle, these mindless and grossly inefficient closures threaten to become the new normal. Real shutdowns—and not just vague threats of closures– could well become a standard part of the annual budget process. […]

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It's Groundhog Day Over the Debt Ceiling

By :: October 2nd, 2013

If you recently heard the news that Congress is debating the merits of raising the debt ceiling, don’t think you have time-traveled back to 2011 or to 2012. In the absence of Congressional action, and barring some extraordinary measures, the debt ceiling is set to be breached sometime in the next several weeks, and the […]

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Could the GOP Boost Tax Reform By Adding the Idea to the Debt Limit?

By :: September 26th, 2013

House Republicans reportedly are considering several ways to add a framework for tax reform to legislation needed to increase the federal government’s borrowing authority. Could such a rider increase the chances of reform happening in the near future? Sadly, no. Indeed, it is likely to bury a tax code rewrite even more deeply in Washington’s […]

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The Costs of Debt Limit Brinksmanship

By :: September 18th, 2013

Today I had the chance to testify before the Joint Economic Committee about a perennial challenge, the looming debt limit. Here are my opening remarks. You can find my full testimony here. I’d like to make six points about the debt limit today. First, Congress must increase the debt limit. Failure to do so will […]

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Is Obamacare the GOP’s White Whale?

By :: September 17th, 2013

 “The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them…All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up in the lee of things;…all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all evil…visibly personified …and made practically assailable in Moby Dick” […]

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Tax Reform Bumps Into More Political Reality

By :: June 13th, 2013

If Congress is going to reform the tax code, it will take an enormous amount of hard work and a lot of luck. The stars, as they say, will have to align. Unfortunately, those galactic bodies seem to be getting more and more disarranged. Reform just can’t catch a break. The deficit is shrinking, taking away […]

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What You Should Know About the Budget Outlook

By :: February 8th, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office released its latest Budget and Economic Outlook earlier this week.  As always, the Outlook provides insight into the fiscal status of the federal government. My three overarching reactions are: First, because American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) instituted tax changes that had been widely expected, the official (“current law”) baseline is now much […]

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