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  • Testimony posted September 23, 2016 by Romina Boccia Women and Opportunity in the Modern Workforce

    My name is Romina Boccia. I am Deputy Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Members of the…

  • Backgrounder posted September 8, 2016 by Romina Boccia Improving Accuracy in Congressional Scorekeeping

    Congress should account for debt-service costs when considering the costs of proposed legislation. Current scorekeeping conventions fail to account for debt-service costs when Congress considers new legislation outside of major budget proposals. This leads to lawmakers having incomplete information concerning how a proposal will impact the U.S. budget. The practice…

  • Commentary posted May 27, 2016 by Romina Boccia Boccia: Federal Budget Trumps Election Woes

    With the media focused so heavily on the presidential election, perhaps it’s not surprising that few are paying attention as Congress takes up its annual spending bills. Besides, President Obama has said for years that our budget deficit is lessening, so we shouldn’t worry about it anymore, right? Wrong: Budget data paint a very different picture. A picture of the…

  • Commentary posted April 19, 2016 by Romina Boccia Congress Should Enact a Responsible Budget

    Once again, Congress has blown right past its statutory deadline for passing a budget. The Congressional Budget Act requires Congress to pass a budget by April 15 to begin the annual spending process for appropriations. Although the House Budget Committee introduced its fiscal year 2017 budget in March, it's never been brought to a floor vote, and prospects for an…

  • Commentary posted February 29, 2016 by Romina Boccia Restoring Fairness and Common Sense to the Federal Budget

    With $19 trillion in national debt, is balancing the budget without raising taxes even possible anymore? You bet it is. By reducing spending on the key drivers of the deficit and debt, and reprioritizing annual spending so it goes toward more important uses, The Heritage Foundation's Blueprint for Balance turns deficits into surpluses. And it does this while cutting…

  • Commentary posted February 26, 2016 by Romina Boccia At the Debt Limit: Congress Should Focus on the Real Budget Crisis

    So now we know. In 2013, the administration intentionally misled Congress to “maximize pressure.” Treasury officials and President Obama claimed that if the government reached the borrowing limit, it would have to delay payments indiscriminately, across the board. It was unworkable, they said, to prioritize spending. They were using the threat of default to push…

  • Testimony posted February 3, 2016 by Romina Boccia The Debt Limit: A Key Action-Forcing Tool to Control Spending and the Debt

    Testimony before The Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations February 2, 2016 Romina Boccia Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs and Deputy Director, Roe Institute The Heritage Foundation Chairman Sean P. Duffy, Ranking Member Alan Green, Members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2016 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia Congress Should Spend More Time Budgeting, Not Less

    Government-by-crisis may be the new normal, but it’s highly frustrating—both on Capitol Hill and off.   Some propose easing brinksmanship budgeting by giving Congress fewer budget deadlines to meet. One popular proposal, called biennial budgeting, would extend the budget cycle from one year to two. Proponents argue that this would free up valuable congressional time for…

  • Issue Brief posted October 28, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Justin T. Johnson, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, James L. Gattuso, Jason Snead, Rachel Greszler, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., David R. Burton, Curtis S. Dubay Analysis of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

    The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt. Heritage…

  • Commentary posted October 26, 2015 by Romina Boccia Pro-con: Should the retirement age go up?

    We’ve known it for a long time: Social Security has a math problem. The safety net for our elders takes in too little money to pay for its long-term obligations. Last year, it saw nearly $860 billion go out the door to pay for benefits and administration. Its dedicated tax revenues covered only 91 percent of that amount. Fortunately, the program continues to hold…

  • Commentary posted October 22, 2015 by Romina Boccia The Debt Ceiling Cometh: Another Chance to Rein In Spending

    The debt limit is fast approaching and once again, it has Washington in frenzy. As always, pundits are focused on the political drama: Will Congress be able to avoid the hyped doomsday scenario of “default” and, if so, when? Unfortunately, the bigger questions of whether and when Congress will gain control of the $18.1 trillion-and-growing national debt go unasked and…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2015 by Romina Boccia Boccia: 'Wage gap' cures are worse than the disease

    For all the hand-wringing over the “wage gap” between men and women, there’s far less there than meets the eye. Once you account for factors that affect every worker’s pay level—things such as education, experience, choice of industry and occupation, career interruptions and hours worked—the so-called “gap” all but disappears. A major discrepancy exists only when…

  • Backgrounder posted September 2, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Curtis S. Dubay, Michael Sargent Blueprint for Congressional Fiscal Action in the Remainder of 2015

    Congress has set the federal government budget on a dangerous trajectory and must take corrective action now. Taxpayers pay enormous amounts of money to the government, and the government borrows additional huge amounts of money. The government uses the taxes that it collects and the money that it borrows to pay for excessive spending, including spending for…

  • Commentary posted September 1, 2015 by Romina Boccia Congress should be fiscally prudent with VA funding

    Congress is trying to figure out how best to address the recent scandal over poor medical care at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But will it make an accurate diagnosis? Lawmakers should exercise care so as to not make current problems worse and ensure that eligible veterans receive proper care in a fiscally responsible way. Costs could double There are…

  • Commentary posted September 1, 2015 by Romina Boccia Working into retirement: What Washington can do

    Seven out of 10 pre-retirees expect to work well into their retirement years, according to a new survey. Washington can adjust to this trend by changing policies that encourage Americans to retire early. A recent Merrill Lynch and Age Wave study found that 72 percent of pre-retirees (those 50 years and older) envision working during retirement. The top reasons cited for…