• Heritage Action
  • More
  • 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, Michael Sargent The debt limit is back — What now?

    It's back. The debt limit returned on Monday, March 16. And at $18.1 trillion, debt subject to the limit is roughly $1 trillion higher than when Congress temporarily suspended the limit on borrowing last year. The debt limit is the amount of debt that the Treasury may issue. In February 2014, the Treasury hit that limit: $17.2 trillion. When that happens, it serves as a…

  • Backgrounder posted July 29, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security: $39 Billion Deficit in 2014, Insolvent by 2035

    Social Security’s main program, also known as Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), ran a $39 billion deficit in 2014, closing out five years of consecutive cash-flow deficits as the program’s unfunded obligations continue to grow.[1] According to the 2015 annual Trustees’ Report, the 75-year unfunded obligation of the Social Security OASI Trust Fund is $9.43 trillion,…

  • Commentary posted July 16, 2015 by Romina Boccia A Scary Thought: Could America Become the Next Greece?

    In June, Greece defaulted on a $1.73 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund. In a national referendum shortly thereafter, the Greeks strongly rejected European conditions for receiving yet another bailout. For the first time in the Eurozone’s history, the exit of one of its member countries became a very real possibility. This week, Athens dodged a steep…

  • Backgrounder posted July 15, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security Disability Insurance: Benefit Offsets Encourage Work—But Achieve Little to No Savings

    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is headed toward insolvency before the end of 2016. Without congressional action, beneficiaries will see their benefits delayed or cut by nearly 20 percent. To avoid delays or drastic and indiscriminate changes in benefits for some of America’s most vulnerable program beneficiaries, Congress is considering several…

  • Commentary posted June 19, 2015 by Romina Boccia Our skyrocketing debt: Higher taxes, lower benefits loom

    Remember the national debt? It's been a while since members of Congress have warned us about it and talk of government shutdowns dominated the headlines. So, problem solved? If only. Things have been quiet on the fiscal front simply because Congress suspended the debt limit in February 2014 and the day of reckoning has yet to come. So, as with other unpleasant facts of…

  • Testimony posted June 11, 2015 by Romina Boccia Corporate Welfare Wastes Taxpayer and Economic Resources

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management United States Senate June 10, 2015 Romina Boccia Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs and Research Manager The Heritage Foundation My name is Romina Boccia. I am the Grover Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs and Research Manager at The…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2015 by Romina Boccia Repealing Obamacare: Just a Start towards a Balanced Budget

    For the first time in more than five years, Congress has passed a budget plan. The plan would balance the budget by 2024—but only if Congress were to enact additional enabling legislation that would actually accomplish the savings included in their budget. That’s a huge “if.” This is one of Washington’s dirty secrets. Members of Congress get to claim credit for passing a…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by Romina Boccia How Do We Get Those Able to Work Off of Disability?

    With the Social Security disability-insurance (SSDI) program heading toward insolvency before the end of next year, lawmakers are looking for reforms to help individuals with disabilities but the capacity to work to return to work. Why it is so hard to get them to do so? Olga Khazan explores the question in a new piece in The Atlantic. Even those awarded benefits for a…

  • Backgrounder posted March 26, 2015 by Romina Boccia, Michael Sargent $4 Trillion and Counting: President Obama’s 2016 Budget Presents a Vision of Government Largess

    For the first time since 2010, President Obama released his annual budget on time.[1] Such punctuality is a welcome step toward normalcy in the budget process, though one wonders why it took five years for the Administration to adhere to the statutory deadline. Aside from its timeliness, there is little good that can be said about the President’s 2016 budget. Obama’s…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2015 by Romina Boccia Why the budget matters

    Voters often wonder if Congress can ever get spending under control. Well, both the House and Senate have introduced their latest budget blueprints, so we'll soon know if they plan to keep kicking the can down the road - or get serious about reform. Why care about the budget? Because it's the only legislative document through which Congress addresses the entirety of the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2015 by Romina Boccia 7 Priorities for the 2016 Congressional Budget Resolution

    The new 114th Congress has a responsibility to address growing spending and debt. This is especially true following the post-election pledge made by House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) to address “a national debt that has Americans stealing from their children and grandchildren, robbing them of benefits that they will never…

  • Commentary posted February 27, 2015 by Romina Boccia 3 steps the new Congress should take to control spending and debt

    The new Congress has an opportunity to rein in growing spending and debt. They should seize it. Last year, lawmakers waived the debt limit to March 2015, then remained largely silent about the economic dangers posed by excessive federal spending and debt. The new Congress needs to address these issues with the seriousness they deserve. In a joint op-ed published the day…

  • Commentary posted February 27, 2015 by Romina Boccia After the cromnibus, how the new Congress can control spending

    It was a $1.1 trillion budget, yet spending concerns were little more than an afterthought for many senators voting on the "cromnibus." Most of the debate focused on including or eliminating certain policy changes addressed in the bill's "riders." Other budget reforms are necessary to control spending. At nearly 1,700 pages, the omnibus spending bill funds all government…