Tag: ‘Deficit’

On Flat Taxes, Tax Relief, and Evidence

By :: April 21st, 2015

Flat tax chatter: Just small talk or a deeper conversation? The Hill examines GOP presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and their ideas for an across-the-board tax rate. A flat tax will disproportionately benefit higher earners, and even some in the GOP say that makes it a non-starter. But TPC’s Howard Gleckman noted, “This […]

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New Evidence on Our Fiscal Status

By :: January 27th, 2015

CBO’s  new budget projections are an opportunity to take stock of the country’s fiscal situation. At the risk of oversimplifying, the report contains one piece of good news, and two of bad news.  The bottom line: The sky is not falling but policymakers have fallen short of solving the long-term fiscal problem. The good news […]

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Who Deserves a [Tax] Break Today?

By :: January 27th, 2015

Is dynamic scoring ready for prime time? At a TPC-Hutchins Center program yesterday, backers and critics debated whether congressional scorekeepers should include  macroeconomic effects of tax changes when doing a budget score. They disagreed, of course, but did agree that if the tool is used, it ought to be limited to a few big bills […]

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A "Normal" Budget Isn't Really Normal

By :: October 20th, 2014

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 […]

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How “Dead Men” Fiscal Policy Is Paralyzing Government

By :: May 13th, 2014

In his new book, Dead Men Ruling, my Tax Policy Center colleague Gene Steuerle delivers a powerful indictment of the current epidemic of irresponsible fiscal policy. But Gene isn’t writing about deficits and today’s economy.  His focus is on the long-term political, social, and economic consequences of mindless budgeting that increasingly functions on policy autopilot. Gene’s […]

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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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Congress Shouldn’t Forget About Tax Entitlements In Its Search for Deficit Reduction

By :: October 22nd, 2013

Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Bob Samuelson urged lawmakers to “just eliminate…the whole notion of entitlements.”  His provocative argument: The very word “entitlement” makes people believe these programs are somehow untouchable. They are, for instance, effectively exempt from the sequester’s cuts even though they represent two-thirds of all government spending. Bob is on to something but he […]

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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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The Un-Default: Congress Has Become A Seinfeld Episode

By :: October 16th, 2013

Like Seinfeld, the classic 1990s TV comedy, Congress is increasingly about…nothing. If the agreement reached by Senate leaders this afternoon sticks (and given recent history, even that is uncertain) Congress has just shuttered much of the federal government for more than two weeks and risked a market-shattering federal default in order to convene a meeting […]

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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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