Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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On July 15, the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee asserted that Treasury will have plenty of money to pay Social Security benefits even if the debt limit is not raised.

On July 14, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget published a report on understanding the debt limit, with a considerable amount of historical data on recent debt limit increases.

On July 14, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a study examining which sectors of the budget have been most responsible for the rise in federal spending.

On July 14, the Center for American Progress published a study on ways that past presidents have cut defense spending and recommendations on how Obama could do so.

In a July 14 commentary, economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff explain why high levels of government debt reduce economic growth.

A July 14 Quinnipiac poll found that people favor reducing unemployment over reducing the deficit by a two to one margin.

And on July 14, Standard and Poor’s issued a credit report warning of a downgrade of Treasury securities if the debt limit isn’t raised quickly.

Also on July 14, Dagong Global Credit Rating, a Chinese company, issued a credit report on the United States that warned of a rating downgrade for both economic and political reasons.

On July 13, Moody’s Investor Service announced that it had placed the U.S. bond rating under review for potential downgrade in the event that the debt limit is not increased shortly.

I last posted items on this topic on July 14.

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.