Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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A May 31 Harris poll found that 49 percent of people trust President Obama on the budget deficit, but only 35 percent trust Republicans in Congress.

A May 27 Sachs/Mason Dixon poll found strong public support for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

On May 26, a group of Republican senators who are blocking an increase in the debt limit sent President Obama a letter demanding that he do something to save the country from the consequences of not raising the debt limit.

In a May 24 op-ed article, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said that higher revenues would be necessary to deal with the debt as long as it took the form of eliminating tax expenditures and not an increase in tax rates.

A May 23 Associated Press poll found that 54 percent of people believe the budget can be balanced without cutting Medicare; 44 percent believe will have to be cut. On Social Security, 59 percent believe the budget can be balanced without cutting it; 39 percent believe it will have to be cut.

On May 20, Medicare’s actuaries released a supplementary memorandum to the Medicare trustees report released on May 13. They express deep skepticism that the official estimates expressed in the trustees report can be achieved. In short, Medicare’s financial problems are worse than they appear.

On May 16, the Congressional Research Service published an updated report on the history of the debt limit.

On May 11, the CRS published a report on the structure and composition of the federal debt.

I last posted items on this topic on May 17.

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.