Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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In a June 21 commentary, political scientist John Sides found that giving people detailed information about the nature of government spending had no impact on their opinions about taxes and spending.

On June 21, the Joint Economic Committee held a hearing on raising economic growth by cutting government spending. Testifying were Stanford economist John Taylor and MIT economist Simon Johnson.

And on June 21, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released a paper outlining options and objectives for ongoing budget talks related to raising the debt limit.

A June 20 Pew poll found that people would be more inclined to blame Republicans in Congress than the Obama administration if there are adverse consequences from failure to raise the debt limit.

A June 20 Rasmussen poll found that 63 percent of people believe that failure to cut federal spending is more dangerous than defaulting on the debt.

In a June 20 commentary, PIMCO economist Scott Mather said that financial repression was a likely consequence of failure to control budget deficits. Such repression may include interest rate controls, controls on capital exports et al.

On June 17, the International Monetary Fund issued an update to its Fiscal Monitor. Regarding the United States, it finds that its fiscal situation has improved somewhat owing to larger revenues and slower spending than previously expected. However, the IMF warns that failure to raise the debt limit would increase the risk of “a major adverse market reaction” that could set back economic progress.

On June 16, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget posted a web page summarizing the provisions of various deficit reduction proposals currently under discussion.

Also on June 16, Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf made a presentation to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on current budget trends.

I last posted items on this topic on June 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.