Tag: ‘Debt’

Get the Fiscal House in Order

By :: November 20th, 2014

The Cato Institute has organized an online forum to debate pro-growth economic policy reforms. Tax Policy Center scholars Bill Gale, Donald Marron, and Eric Toder have each contributed to the discussion. As policy makers search for ways to raise economic growth and improve the living standards of future generations, a major priority should be to get […]

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Can Obama slow corporate inversions? Yes he can.

By :: August 15th, 2014

Politicians can debate whether corporate tax inversions are “unpatriotic” or simply a legitimate technique to reduce taxes–and commentators can argue over whether anything should be done to stop them. Experts also disagree about whether President Obama and his Treasury Secretary have the legal authority to write new rules to discourage inversions. In my view, on this last […]

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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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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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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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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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The Fed and America’s Debt

By :: July 15th, 2013

Is the Federal Reserve part of the government? You might think so, but you wouldn’t know it from the way we talk about America’s debt. When it comes to the debt held by the public, for example, the Fed is just a member of the public. That accounting reflects the Fed’s unusual independence from the […]

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Uncle Sam’s Trillion-Dollar Portfolio Partly Offsets the Public Debt

By :: June 24th, 2013

When policy folks talk about America’s federal borrowing, their go-to measures are the public debt, currently $12 trillion, and its ratio to gross domestic product, which is approaching 75 percent. Those figures represent the debt that Treasury has sold into public capital markets, pays interest on, and will one day roll over or repay. These […]

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Uncle Sam’s Growing Investment Portfolio

By :: June 17th, 2013

The federal government has been borrowing rapidly to finance recent budget deficits. But that’s not the only reason it’s gone deeper into debt. Uncle Sam also borrows to issue loans, build up cash, and make other financial investments. Those financial activities have accounted for an important part of government borrowing in recent years. Since October […]

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“Common Sense” Aside, What Do We Really Know About Capital Income Taxes and Growth?

By :: March 15th, 2013

If you’re discussing tax policy with someone who asserts that his or her point is “just common sense,” this could indicate one of two things: Either no deep thought is required—as the person would have you believe. Or no deep thought has been applied. The “common sense” notion that capital income taxes hinder growth seems […]

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