June 20, 2013 |
Opponents of immigration reform must be having a tough week. First, the Congressional Budget Office released a report Tuesday that found that a bipartisan Senate bill that proposes legal status for immigrants who are illegally in the country, along with tougher enforcement, would help the U.S. economy. The highly anticipated CBO report directly challenges one of the favorite claims made by some immigration hawks, including Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who argue that any bill that favors a path to legal status for the millions of immigrants illegally in the country would cost a fortune and hurt American workers.
June 19, 2013 |
A Senate bill meant to offer a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. who entered illegally or stayed on expired visas could trim the deficit by about $175 billion over the next 10 years, according to a federal report. The report from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation also found federal budget deficits would decrease by about $700 billion from 2024 to 2033. “However, the net impact of the bill on federal deficits would depend on future actions by lawmakers, who could choose to appropriate more or less than the amounts estimated by CBO,” the report said.
June 11, 2013 |
The U.S. economy is improving, yet Congress seems still to be in the grip of the delirium that shrinking the deficit in the near term is still a matter of paramount urgency. That's what's prevented lawmakers from dealing with their real task, which is to jolt the miserable jobs recovery into a higher gear and lift the budget sequester, one of the outstanding examples of mass insanity the country has ever seen. Consider the sequester as exhibit A. That's the package of mandated budget cuts enacted as part of the deal to raise the debt limit in 2011.
May 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The federal deficit is shrinking more quickly than expected, and the government's long-term debt has largely stabilized for the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a report that could strengthen the Obama administration's hand in the budget battles with congressional Republicans. The budget office continues to say the federal government faces a long-range budget problem - mostly caused by the costs of an aging population - but its new forecast pushes the crunch point for that problem off into a considerably more distant future: well after the 2020 presidential election.
April 23, 2013 |
Washington's tug of war over the federal budget has many wonders, but the biggest one of all must be the lengths to which politicians and pundits will go to deprive Granny and Grandpa of $30 a month. That's the amount by which benefits for the average Social Security retiree would be reduced by 2023 under a provision in President Obama's new budget. It might not sound like much to the president or fans of the proposal in both parties and the Washington commentariat. For the retiree trying to stretch an average monthly check of about $1,200 to cover housing, healthcare and every other necessity under the sun, it looms rather larger.
March 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - For the last two years, official Washington has pursued a clearly defined budget goal - reduce projected deficits for the next decade by $4 trillion. Mission accomplished. Why so many long faces? President Obama and congressional Republicans went through their first round of cutting in 2011, shaving about $1.5 trillion from federal spending. The "fiscal cliff" deal in January brought another $720 billion, mostly in higher taxes on the wealthy. Now the automatic spending reduction package known as the sequester is projected to cut spending by about another $1 trillion over the decade, with some $85 billion coming this year.