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Choosing the Right Debt Measure

July 21, 2010

In an earlier post I explained that when it comes to the nation’s long-term debt problem, what matters is the size of the debt held by the public, not the gross debt, and warned that the President’s deficit commission would go seriously off track if it focused on the wrong measure. The Center issued a new report today that explores this issue in greater depth. Here’s the executive summary:

Senator Thune’s Response to Center's Report Doesn’t Hold Up

June 17, 2010

After we issued a report explaining why Senator Thune’s amendment to the pending jobs bill would essentially shut down much of the federal government through the end of the fiscal year (and blogged about it here), he responded that we were “confusing budget authority and outlays” (at around the 6:30 mark of this video clip). In reality, however, it’s the senator’s response that reflects an apparent misunderstanding of federal laws and budget processes, as we explain in a new report.

Thune Amendment to Jobs Bill a Recipe for a Government Shutdown

June 15, 2010

Senator John Thune’s amendment to the jobs bill may seem reasonable at first, but in reality it would essentially shut down much of the federal government from mid-July through September 30, the end of the fiscal year.

President’s Budget Commission Veering Off Course on “Debt” Measure?

May 26, 2010

President Obama’s budget commission which is supposed to craft a plan by year-end to significantly reduce budget deficits and debt in the coming years, showed signs of veering off course this morning on the question of what kind of “debt” needs controlling. That may sound technical but it could prove important, focusing attention on a measure of our fiscal situation that makes little economic sense.

Deficits and Debt: Reischauer’s Testimony is a Must-Read

April 27, 2010

Those who seek a crisp primer on why experts worry about rising deficits and debt should look no further than this morning’s testimony before the President’s fiscal commission by Robert Reischauer, the former Congressional Budget Office director and a member of the Center’s Board of Directors.

Fiscal Commission Gets Underway

April 27, 2010

With the President’s new fiscal commission having its first meeting this morning, here are three basic points concerning the coming debate over our nation’s budget priorities.