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  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Patrick Louis Knudsen 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 January 3, 2013 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. A New, Extra-Extraordinary Debt-Ceiling Tool

    The federal government has once again hit its statutory debt limit. For the next few weeks, Washington will be funding its budget shortfalls through the Treasury Department’s traditional “extraordinary” measures. This confirms the bad news that government continues to overspend to the tune of over a trillion dollars per year. The good news is that hitting the debt limit…

  • Issue Brief posted December 10, 2012 by Patrick Louis Knudsen The Fiscal Cliff and the Perils of Grand Budget Deals

    One of the major complications in the current fiscal cliff debate is that both sides are overreaching, trying to tie a near-term resolution to a sweeping deficit reduction plan that would address the longer-term budgetary crisis looming in the years ahead. They see the cliff negotiations as a stage for a “grand bargain” on the budget between the President and…

  • Issue Brief posted September 11, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay 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[1] heightened the urgency of preventing these tax increases. Unprecedented Tax…

  • Issue Brief posted July 25, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay Top Five Reasons Taxmageddon Is Destroying Jobs

    Taxmageddon is the one-year $494 billion tax increase that is poised to strike the economy on January 1, 2013.[1] It consists of expiring tax policies such as those set in 2001 and 2003 and the 2010 payroll tax cut. Taxmageddon also includes five Obamacare tax increases. Congress should not let Taxmageddon occur. It will devastate the economy and job creation. Below…

  • Issue Brief posted July 17, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay 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.[1] 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 by Patrick Louis Knudsen 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,…

  • Backgrounder posted June 25, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay The President’s 2013 Budget: More Troubling Tax Increases in the Fine Print

    Abstract: Buried in the fine print of President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal is an expansion of his cap on itemized tax deductions—to now include exemptions and exclusions. Applying the cap to exemptions and exclusions is yet another way the President has devised to increase the already sizeable tax burden shouldered by families and small businesses who earn $200,000…

  • Issue Brief posted May 17, 2012 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. 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 by Curtis S. Dubay 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.[1] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) has proposed to offset the cost of continuing to subsidize…

  • WebMemo posted February 9, 2012 by Patrick Louis Knudsen 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 by Curtis S. Dubay 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 by Patrick Louis Knudsen 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 by Patrick Louis Knudsen 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.[1] In other words, the President will call for more of the same discredited Keynesian strategies (with a smaller…

  • WebMemo posted September 6, 2011 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. 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. Unfortunately,…