bipartisan reform Archive

“Who ARE You People??!?”

By James Schaefer. Outraged by partisan gridlock, corporate CEOs have become central players in the fiscal cliff negotiations -- and the far larger effort to tame the nation's deficits and debt. Friday's Wall Street Journal ("Honeywell CEO in the Middle of Cliff Standoff", Monica Langley, December 14, 2012) gave a behind-closed-doors look at...
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The Bipartisan Debt Machine

By John Lumbard. Below you'll find the text of a speech that Senator Barack Obama gave in the Senate in March of 2006 (you want page S2237, if you'd rather read it there) regarding our debt and deficits---which at the time were growing rapidly under President Bush.  Now they're growing rapidly...
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The Value of Bipartisan Reform, or, We’re In This Together

By James Schaefer. It's amazing what  can be found on government websites.  The Social Security Administration posts a chart of their annual FICA tax revenue, from 1937 to 2009, a full seventy-two years' worth (link).  It shows the Trust Fund's cumulative surplus, and is reproduced below. From inception to 1987, the Trust...
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Non-Partisan

By John Lumbard, CFA. When we launched this blog in January of 2010 the federal debt stood at $12 trillion.  The debt owed to the public (not including, that is, the US Treasury bonds held in the Social Security and Medicare trust funds---which Congress doesn't have to pay interest on or...
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Another Path To Solvency

By John Lumbard. The legislatures of seventeen states have recently passed a bill calling for a constitutional convention that would be focused solely on the drafting of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.  Each of these bills explicitly states that it will be declared null and void if the Supreme...
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Are We Like Greece?

By John Lumbard. The fear that Europe will drag the U.S. into a recession is ebbing, and it's about time.  It's likely that Europe is already in a recession, but we're not---and there's little reason why we should be, because our exports to the continent are only worth about 4% of our...
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The Truth about Entitlements

By James Schaefer.   In today’s Wall Street Journal, the lead editorial discusses the problems of government overspending (The Road to a Downgrade, July 28, 2011). Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid prove Milton Friedman's thesis: we cannot get something for nothing.  There is no free lunch; and indeed, it is quite an...
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Cut, Cap, and Balance, Explained

Budget proposals are coming fast and furious in Washington these days.  Most of it is political chatter, but there HAVE been a number of proposals that aspire to responsible government for the long term.  Today's top story in that regard is "Cut, Cap, and Balance" which would smooth over some near-term...
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Problems With a Balanced Budget Amendment?

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal Senators Snowe and DeMint wrote an opinion piece (subscription req'd) which points out that none of today's budget negotiations offer anything like a long-term cure for the fiscal irresponsibility that has become the norm in Washington, DC.  They argue that this goal is best achieved...
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The Most Predictable Economic Crisis In History

That's what Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, said about our government's ever-so-slowly-developing fiscal calamity in this Senate Budget Committee testimony. The President disavowed the findings of his commission, but it continued on in a scaled-down group of six members (all Senators) called the Gang of...
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