Fiscal Policy

Dear Speaker Boehner

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
November 3, 2010 |

Welcome to the job! Uh, I think. Of course, Republicans must be thrilled to have taken back the House and all.

But let's get real, at times like these, being in charge isn't all that fun. And if you do it right, it will be really tough. So assuming you don't want to call for a recount ...

My advice comes from someone terribly worried about the fiscal direction of the country. I don't care which party holds the majority. Consult your political advisers for the other side of what I am about to suggest.

Britain's Austerity: 4 Lessons for Washington

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
October 25, 2010 |

The Brits sure did mean it when they promised a tough fiscal austerity plan. Man, the difference between our two governments' ability to act when necessary is depressing. It sure would be nice to have a parliamentary system at a time like this.

The U.K. coalition government last week spelled out spending reductions that average 19% across all agencies over 4 years. That's 500,000 public-sector jobs. Little is spared. Housing benefits and education funds will be cut. Defense will be pared 8%. The cuts go on.

In Search of Fiscal Responsibility: Ten Questions to Ask the Candidates

October 20, 2010
Fiscal responsibility is one of the major issues this campaign season, with a recent Bloomberg News poll indicating that voters rank the federal budget deficit as the second most important issue facing the country, falling right behind the economy/jobs. As Election Day approaches, more and more candidates will assume the mantle of fiscal responsibility, but often, they will not offer the specific policies to back up their rhetoric.

How to Avoid a Debt Doomsday

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
October 17, 2010 |

Here is a scary question: What could trigger a full-blown fiscal crisis in the United States?

OK, now breathe. It is not at all clear that we will have one. There is the highly desirable possibility that policymakers will act preemptively and gradually phase in major entitlement reforms, spending cuts and tax reform.

You know the old Winston Churchill saying that Americans can always be depended on to do the right thing -- after exhausting all other alternatives. Well, there's still time.

Let's Get Specific: Tax Expenditures

October 14, 2010

The Let’s Get Specific series is intended to help focus the national discussion on specific policies that could help to reduce the deficit and create a better understanding of the types of policy changes that will be required. The policies recommended in this series are not necessarily endorsed by all the members of the Board of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Tax Expenditure Reform Framework

Dear Congress: Don't Blow it on Bush Tax Cuts

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
October 13, 2010 |

Ahem. Excuse me, Congress? I don't mean to nag, but there are 58 more working days until the Bush tax cuts expire. Trust me, I get it: I always waited to cram until the night before the test. Still, shouldn't you get a move on?

I know there are a lot of possible combinations of tax extensions floating around. To help move things along, here are a number of options, ranked in order from best to worst.

Bingo! Fundamental tax reform

By far the best option would be an overhaul of the tax code.

A Recovery At Risk

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
October 11, 2010

Click here to download the slideshow, "A Recovery at Risk."

Let's Get Specific: Healthcare

September 30, 2010

The Let’s Get Specific series is intended to help focus the national discussion on specific policies that could help to reduce the deficit and create a better understanding of the types of policy changes that will be required. The policies recommended in this series are not necessarily endorsed by all the members of the Board of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Stimulus Even a Deficit Hawk Could Love

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
October 5, 2010 |

Am I alone in thinking that all the ideas for economic stimulus and debt control are the handiwork of political pollsters -- and not experts? I know it's election season, but the nature of the discussion pretty much ... um, how to say this? It stinks.

It is particularly alarming since the economic threats the country faces are so real.

In the short-run, the jobs picture is bleak and consumers and businesses aren't spending. In the long run, the growing national debt could lead to many years of substandard growth or even an abrupt fiscal crisis.

Fiscal Reform and Poverty Reduction Are Mutually Reinforcing

  • By
  • Jason Peuquet,
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
September 30, 2010 |

There is no question that major changes will have to be made to the U.S. budget in coming years. Surpluses are never expected to return, the debt is projected to climb to unprecedented levels, and major programs are significantly underfunded, leaving participants uncertain about what benefits they will receive in the future.

Programs:
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