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Fiscal Policy

What Happened to a Leaner, Meaner Military?

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
February 14, 2012 |

After two earlier rollouts—the announcement of a new “defense strategic guidance” on Jan. 5 and the top-line numbers for the new defense budget three weeks later—the Pentagon today finally released its actual budget request for fiscal year 2013, with all the details attached. When you read through the mountain of pages and appendixes, a curious discrepancy sticks out.

Analysis of CBO's Budget and Economic Projections and CRFB's Realistic Baseline

January 31, 2012

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its updated budget and economic projections today, showing the appearance of a sustainable debt trajectory over the next ten years. However, these projections do not incorporate the costs of policies lawmakers are very likely to continue, nor do they show the long-term costs of an aging population and growing health care costs beyond the ten year window.

Among our major findings based on the report:

Debate Club: Should Mitt Romney Pay More in Taxes?

  • By
  • Vishnu Sridharan,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2012 |

Yes. Making Mitt Romney pay more in capital gains taxes would both help slow the alarming growth of inequality in the U.S. and, if offset by a decrease in the corporate tax rate, help keep capital and investment within our borders.

A Scalpel, Not a Hatchet

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
January 27, 2012 |

The Pentagon revealed a bit more of its defense budget today, and, really, the proposed cuts in spending amount to no big deal. It would be hard to justify not making these cuts. If Congress winds up wanting to cut deeper, there’s plenty of room for more hacking.

First, a word of caution: There are many ways to calculate a “cut,” and some will no doubt invoke a few to claim that the Obama administration’s cuts are severe. Let’s go to the numbers.

MacGuineas Testimony Before House Rules Committee (Jan 2012)

January 24, 2012

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the important topic of fixing the budget process. It is a privilege to appear before the Committee.

What We Hope to See From the Extensions Conference Committee

January 25, 2012

At the end of last year, lawmakers enacted a temporary two-month extension of several policies set to expire, including the temporary payroll tax holiday, expanded unemployment insurance, the doc fix, and various health provisions. Encouragingly, the $33 billion cost of the extensions was fully offset over a ten-year period and a Conference Committee was appointed to determine how any further extensions would be treated.

The Coming War Over the Pentagon Budget

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
January 5, 2012 |

It looks like something seriously different is about to happen with the defense budget—and not just the budget, but the way the Pentagon does business and the military fights wars.

The 12 Principles of Fiscal Responsibility for the 2012 Campaign

December 15, 2011
  1. Make Deficit Reduction a Top Priority.
  2. Propose Specific Fiscal Targets.
  3. Recommend Specific Policies to Achieve the Targets.
  4. Do No Harm.
  5. Use Honest Numbers and Avoid Budget Gimmicks.
  6. Do Not Perpetuate Budget Myths.
  7. Do Not Attack Someone Else's Plan Without Putting Forward an Alternative.
  8. Refrain From Pledges That Take Policies Off the Table.
  9. Propose Specific Solutions for Social Sec

Dealing with Expiring Provisions in a Fiscally Responsible Manner

December 12, 2011

At the end of this month, over 80 tax and spending policies are set to expire. How lawmakers deal with any extensions of these policies has important implications for the federal budget and could represent either a step forward for fiscal sustainability or else a step backward.

How to Pay For the Payroll Tax Cut

  • By
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
December 12, 2011 |

It's become a Christmas tradition for Congress to end the year by extending all the policies which expire at year's end. There is the Alternative Minimum Tax, which has to be "patched" every year so that it reaches only four million taxpayers instead of thirty million. There is the looming 27% cut in Medicare payments to doctors which policymakers will need to protect with a "Doc Fix." And on top of that, this year, we're dealing with the expiration of a payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment benefits meant to help boost a weak economy.

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