federal budget Archive

The Fiscal Cliff Explained, With Links To The White House Budget Office

By John Lumbard. According to the National Debt Clock, the US is currently collecting about $2.4 trillion in taxes, and spending about $3.5 trillion. Put another way, we’re collecting 16% of GDP in taxes and spending 23% of GDP on government programs.  Entitlement programs such as Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security are almost 16%...
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About That Trust Fund . . .

By James Schaefer Mr. Obama recently stated that he couldn't guarantee that Social Security checks would go out in August if America's debt ceiling weren't raised (Obama's Debt-Ceiling Scare Tactics).   America's taxpayers have paid $2.5 trillion in FICA taxes over the past several decades to create the Social Security trust fund.  It isn't enough...
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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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How to Fix the Health Care Mess

By John Lumbard.   Since 1994 Jeffrey Flier, MD, now Dean of the Harvard Medical School, has been offering a plan for health care reform that would rein in the galloping cost increases that threaten to bankrupt our government and make health care unaffordable to the middle class.  His concept---universal health care...
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This Week In Fiscal Irresponsibility

By John Lumbard.   This is shaping up to be a big week for debt and deficits.  The U.S. Senate is deep in discussions and negotiations regarding Senate Joint Resolutions 3,4,5, and 10.  The President is going to deliver a speech Wednesday afternoon at George Washington University (apparently without TV coverage) that...
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The Keepers of the Flame

By James Schaefer.   At long last, the topic of entitlement reform  -- "the topic" -- has been broached (see Weekend Interview with Paul Ryan). These entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Prescription Drug Benefit -- are the promises that politicians have made to American citizens for decades.  We think of them...
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The ENTIRE Government Runs on Borrowed Money

By Ron Olive.   (To the Editor of the Wall Street Journal)   Sir:   In “Revenues Are Rising” (Review & Outlook, January 12th), you tell us that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, federal receipts “have climbed by $44 billion, or nearly 9%, to $531 billion” during the first quarter of fiscal...
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An American Promise

Charles Peter Carruthers, a native of Dumfries, Scotland, launched and managed the San Francisco office of Price Waterhouse almost a century ago.  He left to his heirs the following "10 Points" of good government and fiscal responsibility:  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. 2. You cannot strengthen the weak by...
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Join Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment

By John Lumbard.   As the months have rolled by we've worked to simplify our message, because nobody wants to stop partying long enough to think about bipartisan fiscal responsibility.  Most Americans are for it---probably by a massive majority---but most haven't even thought about practical ways to ensure that the Congress does...
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