Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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A February 11 Pew poll found that Tea Party members are much more willing to cut spending than non-Tea Party Republicans, whose views are closer to Democrats on spending for education and other programs.

Also on February 11, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report on the defense budget.

In a February 10 commentary, Brookings Institution economist Isabel Sawhill warned Congress and the administration against cutting the budget in ways that will undermine American competitiveness.

A February 10 policy memo from the Progressive Policy Institute criticized the practice of funding war costs separately from the regular defense budget. This makes it too easy for the Pentagon to hide dubious spending in supplemental appropriations that have little congressional oversight.

A February 10 Pew poll asked people if they wanted to increase or decrease spending for various government programs. In almost every case, more people favored increases over decreases. The only exceptions were defense and aid for the unemployed, on which people were split, and foreign aid.

On February 9, Morgan Stanley posted a report on investment implications of a sovereign debt crisis.

On February 7, The Hill newspaper published a poll showing that 62 percent of people oppose raising the debt limit. The results were roughly the same regardless of age and gender.

Also on February 7, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper which found that Recovery Act spending was mildly stimulative overall, but some spending was highly stimulative while other spending had no stimulative effect at all.

On February 4, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) withdrew her support for cutting veterans’ benefits to reduce the deficit. She had proposed a $4.5 billion cut.

Also on February 4, Urban Institute economist Rudy Penner posted an analysis of what it will take to fix our fiscal problems.

On February 3, the Center on Policy Attitudes released a poll on how the American public would deal with the budget deficit.

I last posted items on this topic on February 4.

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.