Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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In a May 16 commentary, political scientist James Kwak explained why spending caps are poor policy.

On May 16, I published an article criticizing Republican efforts to deny that the Bush tax cuts added to the deficit or the debt.

On May 13, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote a letter to Senator Michael Bennett outlining the catastrophic consequences of failure to raise the debt limit.

On May 13, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on constitutional options for addressing the budget deficit.

A May 13 Gallup poll found that only 19 percent of people favor an increase in the debt limit; 47 percent are opposed.

On May 12, the Congressional Budget Office published a report detailing the evaporation of projected budget surpluses in 2001. About half came from higher legislated spending and one quarter each from legislated tax cuts and the impact of slower than expected economic growth on both outlays and revenues.

On May 10, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published a study examining the policies responsible for projected budget deficits. It finds that simply allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule next year would be sufficient to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio.

Also on May 10, the Heritage Foundation issued a plan to balance the budget.

On May 9, House Speaker John Boehner gave a speech to the Economic Club of New York in which he outlined Republicans’ demands that must be met before they will permit the debt limit to be raised.

I last posted items on these topics on May 10.

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.