Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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A June 16 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that a plurality of people believe that cutting government spending will stimulate the economy. A plurality of people also oppose raising the debt limit. But when told that failure to do so may jeopardize Social Security benefits, people favor raising it by a 46 percent to 42 percent margin.

In a June 15 commentary, PIMCO economist Mohamed El-Erian was highly critical of the political paralysis in Congress over the debt ceiling.

On June 14, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on achieving transparency and openness in federal spending.

Also on June 14, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke gave a speech devoted to the nation’s fiscal problems.

A June 13 commentary by PIMCO economist Saumil Parikh discussed the different nature of sovereign debt risk in various countries.

A June 9 commentary by University of California, Berkeley, economist Barry Eichengreen warned that a debt default could cause a run on the dollar.

A June 9 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 61 percent of people believe higher taxes will be necessary to reduce the deficit.

The same poll also found that 71 percent of people believe that failure to raise the debt limit would cause serious harm to the economy.

On June 4, the Washington Post posted an interactive database allowing readers to search the votes of members of Congress on legislation that contributed heavily to the growth of deficits and debt.

I last posted items on this topic on June 9.

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.