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If Sequestration Remains, Policymakers Will Have Cut Deficits by Nearly $4 Trillion, Largely Through Spending Cuts

October 31, 2013

As a House-Senate conference committee on the budget resolution begins work, it’s worth taking stock of the deficit reduction of recent years.

Policymakers have enacted several deficit-reduction measures since 2010, including cuts to appropriations in 2011, the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), and the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) in early 2013.  Taken together,...

Facts Contradict Boehner Claim on Debt Limit and Deficits

September 25, 2013

“Every major deficit reduction plan over the last 30 years has been tied to the debt limit,” House Speaker John Boehner claims.  But that’s wrong in two ways.  Fewer than half of the deficit-reduction plans included debt-limit increases, and none did what congressional Republicans...

Speaker Boehner Off-Base on Debt Increases

September 13, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) contends that linking an increase in the debt limit to budget deals is routine.  In fact, such linkage is the exception — not the rule.

In a...

Timing of the 2014 Sequestration

August 22, 2013

We’ve been asked repeatedly when the sequestration budget cuts for fiscal year 2014 will kick in.  As we see it, the 2014 sequestration has already occurred (even though fiscal year 2014 doesn’t officially begin until October 1).  That’s because the Office of Management and Budget ordered sequestration on...

Most Deficit Savings Have Come from Program Cuts

April 9, 2013

Tomorrow’s release of President Obama’s budget will bring new attention to the debate over how to reduce deficits.  A key sticking point in that debate has been Republican leaders’ opposition to any new revenues on top of those in January’s American Taxpayer Relief Act.

With that in mind, here’s a fact worth remembering:  some 70 percent of the $2.3 trillion in policy...

Four Reasons Not to Move to Biennial Budgeting

April 2, 2013

The Senate recently expressed support for “biennial budgeting,” under which policymakers would consider budgets and appropriations bills that stretch over two years rather than one.  We urge those who voted for this concept, in the form of an amendment to the Senate budget resolution, to reconsider.

While proponents of biennial budgeting say it will improve budgeting and congressional...

Two-Thirds of Ryan’s Cuts Would Come from Low- and Moderate-Income Programs

March 15, 2013

We recently updated the percentage, below, from 66 to 72 percent, and the cuts, below, from $3.3 trillion to $3.1 trillion— and that’s because we updated our budget baseline primarily to assume that the sequestration budget cuts remain in effect.

At least 66 percent of the cuts in House Budget...

OMB Announces Amounts of Budget Cuts Under Sequestration

March 4, 2013

The Office of Management and Budget has calculated how deeply the automatic budget cuts — known as sequestration — which began on Friday, will cut programs.  These figures differ slightly from our earlier estimates and are reflected in the table below.

Three Reasons Why Unused Funds Aren’t a Painless Source of Deficit Savings

March 4, 2013

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and several other congressional Republicans have proposed canceling $45 billion in unused funding that Congress provided for discretionary programs in prior years, using the savings to shrink deficits.  The idea that...

How Big Are the Automatic “Sequestration” Cuts Scheduled for March 1?

February 11, 2013

Update March 4:  Click here for the Office of Management and Budget’s calculations of the cuts under sequestration.

We have slightly revised our estimates of the...