June 6, 2012 |
Amid election year barbs over taxes and spending comes a jolt: A new report says that a U.S. debt crisis could hit soon and imperil the economy if Washington fails to staunch the red ink. The nation's publicly held debt will climb to dangerously high levels — more than 70% of the gross domestic product — by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. That's a level not seen since World War II. Lower tax revenue and increased federal spending — some the result of the recent recession, some accumulated before President Obama took office — have led to record-high annual federal deficits and soaring debt.
April 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- A new analysis concludes that President Obama's 2013 budget would bolster the economy in the short term and hinder growth in later years, igniting a fresh round of debate as Democrats and Republicans offer competing economic visions heading into the fall election. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that Obama's proposal would boost the nation's gross domestic product by 1.4% beyond what is expected under current law, primarily because the White House plan would extend certain tax breaks that are set to expire this year.
April 6, 2012 |
The federal government ran up a budget deficit of nearly $780 billion in the first half of the fiscal year amid more spending on TARP, Social Security, Medicare and more, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But the shortfall is actually $53 billion less than it was in the same period last year. From Oct. 1, 2011, through March 30, 2012, the government pulled in $29 billion more in corporate income taxes -- a 53% increase -- due to businesses making higher payments and getting smaller refunds.
January 31, 2012 |
Federal deficits are declining but are expected to continue at near record highs in 2012 as the "sluggish" economy continues to generate lower tax revenues and projected spending cuts lead to a bump in the unemployment rate, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. "How much and how quickly the deficit declines will depend in part on how well the economy does over the next few years," CBO said in its annual Budget and Economic Outlook report. "Probably more critical, though, will be the fiscal and policy choices made by lawmakers as they face the substantial changes to tax and spending policies that are slated to take effect within the next year under current law. " The report shows the annual federal deficit is expected to hit $1.1 trillion in fiscal 2012, down from its record highs of recent years, but still more than anytime between World War II and 2008.
January 31, 2012 |
Here's one way Congress can trim the nation's record deficits: Do nothing. Keeping Congress gridlocked on budget issues would cut the projected annual federal deficit in half by the next fiscal year and set the trend on a downward path for years to come. Legislation already on the books, if left alone, would do several things: Tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush's administration would expire Dec. 31, generating more revenue. And deep budget cuts passed as part of last summer's debt ceiling deal would be automatically triggered, slashing spending in 2013.
November 18, 2011 |
The House of Representatives rejected a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution on Friday, failing to revive a long-held and elusive goal for the GOP. The vote came 16 years after an amendment failed to pass Congress by 1 vote in the Senate, but the intervening years have put the amendment further out of reach. In a largely partisan 261-165 vote, the measure fell well short of 284 votes needed to pass. President Obama has said he opposes the amendment. The Senate, which also is required to vote on the amendment as part of the August deal to raise the debt ceiling, is not expected to pass it. That's in part because the bipartisan cooperation needed to amass a two-thirds vote on any fiscal measure seems something of a pipe dream in today's political climate.
November 7, 2011 |
The federal government recorded a $1.3-trillion budget deficit in the 2011 fiscal year, roughly even with the previous year's shortfall. An analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released Monday showed that federal government took in $2.3 trillion while spending $3.6 trillion. Receipts increased at a faster rate than the growth in spending -- 6.5% versus 4.2%, respectively. The deficit as a share of the national economy actually decreased slightly from 9% to 8.7%, though that figure was still the third-highest since World War II. The analysis comes as congressional negotiators are working to meet a Thanksgiving deadline to put forward a plan to slash long-term deficits by $1.5 trillion.
November 2, 2011 |
Political heavyweights from past budget debates descended on the congressional "super committee" to deliver a tough message as the panel struggles to agree on a $1.5-trillion deficit reduction plan by its Thanksgiving deadline. The four veterans offered their expertise — along with some criticism — as they implored the committee to worry less about the partisan political climate and more about the economic harm that could come to the financial markets and nation's credit rating if a big deal could not be reached.
October 27, 2011 |
The rich got richer over the last three decades — and the very rich got very much richer — according to a new government study. The top 1% of households saw their after-tax incomes grow by 275% from 1979 to 2007, said the study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That was more than quadruple the growth of the rest of the top 20% of the population during that period. Meanwhile, income for the 60% of households that make up the middle of the income scale increased by slightly less than 40%, the study found.
September 13, 2011 |
The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office laid out in stark terms the choices for the super-committee on deficit reduction: Only a wholesale reordering of government priorities will do. Federal budget problems are so severe, said CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf, that the nation can no longer afford to continue the status quo of providing government services and a federal safety net for seniors as well as keeping taxes low. At...