Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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On May 10, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on how Social Security reform can contribute to deficit reduction.

On May 9, Macroeconomic Advisers posted an analysis of the so-called People’s Budget put forward by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which would cut spending less and raise taxes more than other proposed budget plans.

On May 6, the Congressional Budget Office released its latest monthly budget review. It finds that tax revenues are coming in much stronger than expected.

A May 5 CNN/Opinion Research poll found that 60 percent of people oppose an increase in the debt limit.

In a May 5 commentary, MIT economist Simon Johnson explained that the principal determinant of whether the national debt is sustainable is not the debt-to-GDP ratio but interest on the debt as a share of revenues.

On May 4, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on budget enforcement mechanisms.

In a May 4 commentary, University of Baltimore constitutional law professor Garrett Epps argued that Section 4 of the 14th Amendment supersedes the debt limit, and would permit the president to take extraordinary action to prevent default in the event that Congress refuses to raise the debt limit.

Also on May 4, the Levy Institute published a paper by University of Texas economist James Galbraith which argues that concern about the national debt is exaggerated.

On April 29, the Congressional Research Service published a report comparing various proposals for reducing the deficit.

On April 27, the CRS published a report on problems the government encounters when the debt limit becomes binding.

I last posted items on this topic on May 5.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.