Focus on Budget and Debt

Focus on Budget and Debt

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A July 18 Gallup poll found that 56 percent of people believe that failure to raise the debt limit will cause an economic crisis; 40 percent don’t.

A July 18 Pew poll found that the public is evenly split on the urgency of raising the debt limit. However, two thirds of Tea Party members don’t believe that August 2 is a real deadline.

On July 18, Fitch, a credit rating company, issued a report warning that it would downgrade Treasury debt unless the debt limit is increased.

A July 18 CBS News poll found that more people disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling debt ceiling negotiations than Democrats by a 71 percent to 58 percent margin.

A July 18 Rasmussen poll found that half of people believe large defense cuts are possible without harming national security.

On July 18, Senator Tom Coburn issued a 621-page report on how to reduce the budget deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade.

In a July 18 commentary, Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf explained that the aging of society automatically raises government costs. Preventing that increase will require massive cuts in benefits for the elderly.

In a July 18 commentary, former Council of Economic Advisers member Donald Marron advocated abolition of the debt limit.

A July 18 AARP poll found that 70 percent of New Yorkers over age 50 are very concerned about the deficit and 70 percent oppose raising the debt limit if it will lead to cuts in Social Security or Medicare.

In a July 17 commentary, former Treasury economist Alan Krueger explained the uncertainty surrounding estimates of when the debt limit will be reached.

On July 14, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report examining the impact of a $2 trillion reduction in the budget deficit over the next decade. It finds that growth would be lower in the first few years and faster in the later years.

I last posted items on this topic on July 19.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs dailyand 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.