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Rep. Ryan’s Reverse-Robin-Hood Budget Plan

August 18, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan and his budget plan are getting a lot of respectful attention in the press. (See here and here.) New York Times columnist Matt Bai suggests Ryan’s plan might represent “the starting point in what could be a serious negotiation about entitlements and spending.” But a careful look at the plan shows it to be a radical blueprint to shift massive resources from the broad majority of Americans to the very wealthy, while leaving the budget on an unsustainable course for decades.

Critics’ Misleading Attack on “Misleading” Medicare Report

August 16, 2010

Sunday’s New York Times op-ed by Stanford Ross and David Walker (“Misled on Medicare”) charges that the latest Medicare trustees’ report on the program’s finances is misleading.  In fact, it’s Messrs. Ross and Walker who are telling only part of...

What to Look for in the Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports

August 4, 2010

The trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will release their annual reports tomorrow. Although these reports generally come out by April 15, the trustees often miss that deadline. This year, the trustees delayed the reports to give the actuaries at the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services time to incorporate the effects of the Affordable Care Act (the recently enacted health reform legislation).

Here are a few things to anticipate and keep in mind about the reports to come tomorrow:

Backward-Looking Federal Spending Target Isn’t the Answer

July 29, 2010

At its meeting yesterday, the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform discussed imposing a numerical limit on federal spending as a share of the economy. One of the commission’s co-chairs has suggested capping spending and revenues at 21
percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the average spending level over the past 40 years. But as I explain in a new report, averages from the past aren’t a good guide for the future:

Don’t Let Deficit Concerns Derail Jobs Bill

May 19, 2010

Misplaced budgetary concerns are impeding major legislation that would create and preserve jobs, continue unemployment and health benefits for those who are out of work, and fix Medicare’s flawed payment formula for physicians for several years.

Dispelling Confusion About New CBO Letter on Health Reform Law

May 12, 2010

Has the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just upped its cost estimate for the new health care law by $115 billion, as several media outlets are reporting? Not at all.

Unspinning the New HHS Actuaries' Report

April 23, 2010

Does today’s report from the Department of Health and Human Services actuaries, estimating that total national spending on health care will rise by 0.9 percent in the first decade under the new health reform law, mean that the law will not control health costs or will cause the deficit to explode? Not at all.