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.
April 2, 2012 |
With polls showing him comfortably ahead one day before the Wisconsin Republican primary, front-runner Mitt Romney joined with native son Rep. Paul Ryan to make the case that the GOP has the best formula to bring the federal budget under control. Ryan, who last week endorsed Romney, introduced the candidate at a campaign event at a building supply business in Green Bay, declaring that Romney is the best candidate to head off a "predictable economic crisis" if the federal deficit is not brought under control.
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 22, 2011 |
So once again, political leaders in Washington have lived down to the expectations of business owners and consumers — just about everyone. Having set up a "super committee" to consider how to cut federal red ink by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years, Congress this week conceded a self-inflicted defeat. Is this failure good or bad for the economy? In the long run it's probably neutral, because it doesn't say anything about the absence of grown-up economic policy thinking in Washington that we didn't know already.
November 17, 2011 |
The Treasury Department confirmed this week that the national debt has surpassed $15 trillion -- that's 15, followed by 12 zeros -- a milestone Republicans have latched on to for a fresh attack on President Obama's fiscal management. The timing could not be more conspicuous, with less than a week left before the super committee's deadline and no deficit-reduction plan in sight. A leading Senate Republican said Thursday his party continues to wait for a counteroffer from Democrats, and charged that Obama has been "AWOL" in the discussion.
October 25, 2011 |
Returning to South Carolina, a state key to reviving his presidential candidacy, Gov. Rick Perry unveiled what he said was a “bold” tax plan to revive the nation's economy. The Texas governor, speaking at the warehouse of a specialty plastics company south of Greenville, proposed a flat tax plan that critics said would worsen the federal deficit. Perry's plan includes an optional 20% flat tax for individuals and corporations. But he would allow anyone to remain with the current tax system, insuring that no one's taxes would go up and threatening to cut federal revenue by hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
September 6, 2011 |
California voters are increasingly downcast about the direction of the country, but -- like their leaders in Washington -- many would rather adhere to party orthodoxy than compromise to address the current economic problems, a new poll shows. The findings offer little guidance for President Obama, who will unveil a jobs package this week that he hopes to push through a polarized Congress. Further troubling for the president: The survey results suggest that Republicans, even in deep-blue California, are winning the rhetorical war of words over how to frame the country's economic troubles, and how to get out of them.
August 25, 2011 |
A third consecutive year of massive federal deficits and a slumping economy with high unemployment portrays a bleak fiscal outlook for the U.S., promising a divisive political debate this fall over how to get the country back on track. The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday the federal deficit was projected to hit $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2011, the third year of shortfalls at levels not seen since World War II. As the economy continues to struggle, unemployment is expected to remain stubbornly high through the end of the year, but dip to 8.5% as the 2012 election approaches, a slight improvement but still high and on par with previous projections by the congressional agency.