Tag: ‘Medicare’

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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How Many Americans Get Government Assistance? All of Us

By :: June 4th, 2015

The other day, the Census Bureau put out a new report that concluded about one-in-five Americans received government benefits in 2012. But the study, called Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Participation in Government Programs, 2009–2012: Who Gets Assistance, takes a far too narrow view about who gets the help. A more accurate estimate of the share of Americans […]

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The Medicare “Doc Fix” That Isn’t

By :: March 26th, 2015

As you listen to House Democrats and Republicans sing kumbaya  over their bipartisan agreement to fix the Medicare physician payment system, keep one thing in mind: The doc fix doesn’t fix much, and what it does repair likely will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt in coming years. The bill would accomplish one […]

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CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

By :: August 28th, 2014

Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income […]

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Fiscal Reality Check: Will Congress Pay for the Tax Extenders and the Doc Fix?

By :: March 20th, 2014

After it returns from Spring Break next week, Congress may face two big fiscal reality checks. It will have to decide whether to temporarily extend scores of expiring tax provisions and what to do about permanently adjusting the formula Medicare uses to pay physicians (the “doc fix”). Combined, these two measures would add about $65 billion to 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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How Washington Will Use the Coming Budget Wars To Duck Hard Choices

By :: August 27th, 2013

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has notified Congress that the U.S. government will reach the limits of its ability to borrow in mid-October.  Lew’s letter sounds the opening notes of the overture to this fall’s fiscal grand opera. Between October 1 and the end of the calendar year, President Obama and Congress will battle over the […]

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

By :: February 19th, 2013

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, […]

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Obama’s State of the Union and the Great Deficit Smackdown

By :: February 12th, 2013

House Republicans say they want to balance the budget in a decade with only spending cuts and no tax hikes. In his state of the union address tonight, President Obama—perhaps channeling his new pal New Jersey Governor Chris Christie—had a response. In a word, fuhgedaboutit. Obama’s priorities: Gun control and immigration reform, along with a […]

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The Risks of Dumbing Down Fiscal Goals

By :: February 1st, 2013

In one of the more dangerous fiscal developments of recent months, some on the left are defining successful deficit reduction as merely stabilizing the federal debt at about 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2022. While there is no magic target, this one is far too modest and threatens to leave future fiscal policy […]

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