Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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An April 13 Gallup poll found that neither party has benefitted because of the recently concluded budget deal. It also found that 33 percent of Republicans favor no cost cutting for Medicare, compared to just 21 percent of Democrats.

On April 12, the International Monetary Fund published the latest edition of its Fiscal Monitor.

Also on April 12, the IMF published a staff position note warning that measures to improve finances of public pensions in the near term must not make their long term finances worse in the process.

In an April 11 commentary, Reagan defense official Lawrence Korb was highly critical of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan for refusing to cut defense spending.

An April 11 Pew poll found wide disgust with everyone involved in the recent budget negotiations and a potential government shutdown.

In an April 10 commentary, Brookings Institution economist Henry Aaron was highly critical of Rep. Ryan’s budget plan, saying that the spending cuts are less about balancing the budget than financing tax cuts for the rich.

An April 8 study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found very little net deficit reduction in Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan; the spending cuts are roughly offset by tax cuts.

An April 6 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 61 percent of people favor a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, down from 71 percent in 1995. Support falls to 27 percent when people are told that this would require a 20 percent cut in entitlement programs. The same poll found strong opposition to raising the debt limit, which expires shortly.

Also on April 6, the Congressional Progressive Caucus put forward an alternative budget proposal that would cut spending less and raise taxes more than proposed by Republicans.

I last posted items on this topic on April 7.

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.