Tag: Federal Budget

Tonight in the “fiscal cliff”: Boehner calls off vote on Plan B

Put a couple of reasonable people in a room together, and they could easily split those very small differences.

But it seems that Boehner could not sell that plan to more than half the House Republicans.

So he pushed for a vote on a plan that would have raised tax rates only for those earning over $1 million — a plan that would have also hit working folks hard because of cuts to the child tax credit and earned income tax credit.

Mark Thoma on fiscal policy during a recession: did we learn anything?

“If both sides agree that taxes and spending can be used to offset recessions, then why can’t we use fiscal policy more effectively?”

When push comes to shove, Americans — including Republicans — oppose significant spending cuts

President Obama and leaders of both parties need to do a better job of educating Americans about the simple realities of the arithmetic.

And the news media needs to do a better job of it too.

“The data speaks”: Tax hikes for wealthiest Americans won’t destroy the economy

Before I continue to the numbers, I want to say that I’ve been surprised over the last few years to realize that so many Americans simply reject data collected and analyzed by independent scholars, economists, government workers following strict methodology, and other experts. So many Americans just want to go with their gut — they want to believe, well, what they believe.

Eliminating the deficit may be harder than you think

I’d encourage all readers who are closely following the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations to take a look at this great interactive feature at the Wall Street Journal today: Make Your Own Deficit-Reduction Plan

Almost half of Americans think — wrongly — that “fiscal cliff” would increase deficit; 25% have strong opinions about a plan that doesn’t exist

Americans interested in understanding how the economy works need to turn off the 24-hour news networks and find better sources for their information.

NYT: Americans’ tax burdens mostly lower than in 1980

Federal, state, and local government revenues meanwhile slipped from 28.6 percent of GDP in 1980 to 26.9 percent in 2010. Again, the recession is in part to blame for the recent decline in tax revenues, and Obama’s original stimulus and followup steps to goose the economy have also involved hefty tax cuts.

Why not just go off the fiscal cliff?

Some are arguing for the fiscal cliff because we would reset the budget debate. With so many members of Congress taking a hard line on tax increases, there’s little way to increase revenues — and without more revenue there’s little chance of ever balancing the federal budget.

A few thoughts on Romney’s VP pick of Paul Ryan: Devils in the details of his economic plan

Ryan will likely fare fine in debates. He’s attractive and a good speaker (although he’s going to look a little too much like a long lost Romney son in campaign ads). His presence might inject into the campaign some real discussion about the federal budget and how to avoid the upcoming fiscal cliff — but the majority of voters will disagree with Ryan’s specific prescriptions. The more they hear, the less they’ll like.

Obama budget makes big cuts to size of federal government — except for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

Much of what you’ve been reading about the Obama budget proposal is dead wrong. I’ve already noted in a post that next year’s outlays for defense, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will outpace total tax receipts. In a great column…

Spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Defense higher than total revenues in Obama’s 2013 budget proposal

I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot about the $900 billion deficit in President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal (a political document as much as an economic one), but keep in mind that the path to balanced budgets is going to…

Americans hate big government — but relied on benefits for 17.6% of personal income in 2009

From the NYT’s Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It: Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to…

The politics and economics of job losses and gains over the last three years

It looks like the U.S. economy might be in sustained jobs recovery. That recovery might even turn out to be a significant one. Just days before last Friday’s great jobs report, I posted about a whole series of economic releases…

The Supercommittee failed, now what?

If you’re reading this, I suppose I don’t need to waste any time giving background on the so-called Supercommittee that was supposed to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. I’ve read lots of reactions about the failure, but…