Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013
House and Senate Budgets: A First Step Toward Restoring Congressional Budgeting
It is no great achievement for lawmakers simply to do what the law requires of them. Still, the passage of budget resolutions last month by both houses of Congress—after the Senate’s four years of neglect—does seem noteworthy. The question now is: What next?
In the absence of normal budgeting, congressional leaders have resorted to manufactured, ad hoc fiscal procedures…
Issue Brief posted September 11, 2012
Congress Should Finish Its Summer Job: Stop Taxmageddon
Now that Labor Day is past, Congress has returned to Washington after its summer vacation. Regrettably, it failed to complete its summer job before it left: stopping all of Taxmageddon. Hopefully, Members of Congress are well rested, because the dreadful August jobs report heightened the urgency of preventing these tax increases.
Issue Brief posted July 17, 2012
Congress Should Not “Pay for” Stopping Taxmageddon Tax Increase
Taxmageddon is a massive one-year $500 billion tax increase that is poised to strike the economy on January 1, 2013. It is mostly the result of tax policies that expire at the end of the year.
Congress has been slow to stop Taxmageddon in part because of a common misconception that doing so would be a tax cut that adds to the deficit. On the contrary, preventing…
Issue Brief posted June 27, 2012
Federal Budget: Congress Should Uphold House Appropriations Spending Limits
With several extraordinary spending and tax challenges facing Congress, at least one part of this year’s budgeting should be fairly routine: the annual appropriations process. Both the House and the Senate have already advanced many of these spending bills, which fund the operations of government agencies. They should make a point of completing them all in a deliberate,…
Issue Brief posted May 17, 2012
Preventing Taxmageddon Is Congress’s Summer Job
Conventional wisdom says that Congress and the President will get nothing done in 2012 until after the elections. Conventional wisdom appears to be at least mostly correct, but in one respect Congress should not fall prey to conventional wisdom: preventing Taxmageddon.
Too much is at stake for families, jobs, and restoring limited government: Congress should heed…
Issue Brief posted May 8, 2012
Student Loan Payroll Tax Increase: Another Attack on Small Business
President Obama is campaigning heavily for Congress to prevent the lapsing of a special low-interest rate on student loans. Specifically, unless deferred, the interest rate will rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on federal Stafford student loans issued after July 1.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) has proposed to offset the cost of continuing to subsidize…
WebMemo posted February 9, 2012
President Obama’s Budget: What to Watch For
The President’s post-debt-ceiling, election-year budget will provide a good test of whether he is serious about facing up to the country’s looming fiscal crisis and driving spending down. At this critical moment for the nation’s fiscal and economic health, he should seize the opportunity to change the course of fiscal policy.
No one expects President Obama to…
WebMemo posted January 24, 2012
Tax To-Do List for 2012 for the President and Congress: Focus on Growth
President Obama and Congress need to focus on policies in 2012 that will unleash the economic growth necessary to get the economy back on track, create jobs, and lower the unemployment rate.
As more government spending has failed to create that growth, the President and Congress should turn to removing the obstacles that Washington policies are placing in the way of…
WebMemo posted November 2, 2011
Federal Budget Bills Close to Target but Should Cut Deeper
While most attention is focused on the congressional “super committee,” House and Senate appropriators have been moving legislation aimed at meeting their own fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending limits under the debt reduction agreement enacted earlier this year. So far, the appropriators are close to that modest goal. But they are far from returning to the pre-stimulus,…
WebMemo posted September 7, 2011
The President’s New “Jobs Speech”: More Economic Alchemy Likely
Judging by the accounts published to date, the “jobs” plan President Obama proposes Thursday night will likely include the typical set of infrastructure spending, school construction, aid for teachers, unemployment benefits, “targeted” tax breaks, and the like. In other words, the President will call for more of the same discredited Keynesian strategies (with a smaller…
WebMemo posted September 6, 2011
Three Paths for Obama’s Jobs Speech
President Obama will soon make yet another “major jobs speech.” Small wonder—the Department of Labor announced last Friday that the economy created a net of zero new jobs in August following two months of near-zero growth. Two years after the President signed his first major jobs bill into law, the unemployment rate continues to hover at 9.1 percent.
WebMemo posted April 25, 2011
A Rose by Any Other Name: Clarity on Tax Hikes
Fiscal policy debates are loaded with emotion and complex terminology. Even the raw numbers—billions and trillions—are largely beyond human comprehension. It is all the more important, then, to hold tightly to a few simple concepts that clarify the debate. One is the definition of a tax increase.
What Is a Tax Hike?
A tax hike occurs when, as a…
WebMemo posted October 8, 2010
Obama Jobs Deficit Further Evidence of Failure
“You are what your record says you are.” So says Bill Parcells, three-time Super Bowl–winning coach. Professional sports, athletes, coaches, and commentators can spin the numbers with the best of politicians, but in the end you are what your record says you are. The record for the first two years of President Obama’s economic policies is pretty dismal: National debt up…
WebMemo posted October 5, 2010
Impact of Obama Tax Increase: National, State, and Congressional District Levels
The macroeconomic model presented in “Obama Tax Hikes: The Economic and Fiscal Effects” makes predictions at the national level. Converting the model’s predictions to state and congressional district levels requires supplemental analysis. Because of the statistical assumptions involved, the exact state and district numbers may vary slightly from the reported…