Tag: ‘sequester’

The Budget Deal: A Needed Time Out From Washington’s Fiscal Tantrums

By :: December 11th, 2013

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached what can only be called a temporary fiscal truce—if they can convince their congressional colleagues to accept it. House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) hammered out a lowest-common-denominator deal that gives both parties two years of breathing room—and talking points. […]

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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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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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Build America Bonds, the Medicaid Expansion, and Trust Between the States and the Feds

By :: March 7th, 2013

States trying to decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more low-income uninsured might want to take a look at the fate of a more obscure federal program—cash subsidies to state and local governments that sell certain kinds of bonds, especially Build America  Bonds. If they do, they’ll see what happens to a […]

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Sequester, We Hardly Knew Ye

By :: March 1st, 2013

I suspect that by early next week, the sequester will be old news. We’ll be on to the next crisis—the impending government shutdown scheduled for just a month from now. And there may be good reason for that—any deal to avoid the shutdown will almost surely replace the effects of the sequester, at least for […]

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The Sequester is Not Too Big, It is Too Stupid

By :: February 28th, 2013

The latest chapter in Washington’s never-ending fiscal drama is about to play out in tomorrow’s sequester–a word most Americans should never have had to learn. For all the partisan noise about these automatic spending cuts, it is important to keep in mind that they are both relatively small and very stupid. First, the size. As the […]

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How to Avoid Sequester and Give Both Parties What They Want

By :: February 27th, 2013

I would like to propose a simple plan that would let Republicans and Democrats avoid a blunt, across-the-board sequester that fails to set priorities. It would give both parties something they want without abandoning their core principles. And it would strengthen the party making the proposal by putting the other on the spot if it […]

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Five reasons Why the Sequester’s Automatic Spending Cuts are Bad Policy

By :: February 15th, 2013

In two weeks, about $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts will begin to kick in, a testament to the inability of policymakers to reach a grand fiscal bargain. Allowing these cuts to happen would be terrible policy. Here’s the background: In August 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act (BCA) as a last-minute solution to […]

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Five Ways the Chasm Between Democratic and Republican Budget Plans is Growing

By :: January 24th, 2013

If their leaders’ public statements are to be believed, the fiscal chasm between the political parties is widening. And it is hard to see how it can be bridged.    Congressional Democrats and Republicans have agreed to put off the next budget crisis for a month or so. This is a good thing, especially considering […]

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