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  • Moody's: Further Deficit Reduction Needed to Maintain Stable Outlook

    Moody’s changed the outlook on the U.S. credit rating from negative to stable this week, citing improving deficits. While this is good news, policymakers should curb their enthusiasm about what this means for the U.S. debt situation. The improvement could be fleeting, as Moody’s relies heavily on favorable economic growth … More

    Hurrah Too Soon: White House Budget Revision Shows $759 Billion Deficit in 2013

    The President’s Midsession Review, released this week, projects the 2013 deficit to be lower by $214 billion compared with the earlier Obama budget estimate released in April. But any hurrah would be misplaced. Most of the short-term improvement comes because revenue from the tax increases passed in December 2012 is … More

    $150,000 in the Bank and Drawing Income from Social Security’s SSI

    An individual with $150,000 in the bank received Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program intended for blind, disabled, or elderly individuals with limited financial resources, revealed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a recent report. SSI, though administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), is funded by general tax revenue. … More

    Equal Pay Act at 50: The Myth of the Gender Wage Gap

    Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. Signed into law by John F. Kennedy in 1963, the act ruled it unlawful to pay women lower wages based on sex. Women all across the United States have a great deal to celebrate because of what they have accomplished … More

    Disability and Unemployment: Putting an End to Double-Dipping

    The number of people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) reached a record high this year. But a large number of people are double-dipping from both the disability insurance (DI) and unemployment insurance (UI) programs. A bill introduced last week would put an end to these overpayments, which unnecessarily drain the … More

    Treasury Employs Extraordinary Measures to Spend Beyond Debt Limit

    After hitting the debt limit on March 19, the Treasury Department under Secretary Jack Lew is now employing its toolset of “extraordinary measures” to continue deficit spending without legally breaching the debt limit. It will provide about $260 billion in borrowing capacity, which should last beyond at least Labor Day, … More

    Social Security’s Unfunded Obligation Rises by $1 Trillion

    Contrary to claims by cheerful news sources, Social Security’s deficit outlook is not “unchanged” or “no worse.” Social Security’s unfunded obligation rose by $1 trillion according to the latest trustees’ report. U.S. taxpayers now owe $12.3 trillion to pay scheduled benefits—in addition to what Social Security can hope to collect … More

    House Appropriations Plan Delivers Sequestration Cuts and Protects Defense

    In a refreshing break from tradition, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $967 billion discretionary spending plan that would stay within the fiscal year 2014 sequestration spending levels. The measure would protect defense from further cuts and instead deliver the total savings through reductions to domestic discretionary programs. It was … More

    Washington Hits the $16.7 Trillion Debt Ceiling with $300 Billion in New Debt

    On May 19, the United States hit its debt ceiling after adding $300 billion in more debt since lawmakers suspended the ceiling in February. But the cash won’t run dry until at least Labor Day, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, whose department can employ a variety of cash management … More

    Obama Budget: CBO Shows $1 Trillion Tax Hike, Fake Spending Cuts

    The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) official score of President Obama’s budget shows in numbers a vision for economic decline in America. The President imposes a tax increase totaling $1.1 trillion (and a net increase of about $1 trillion), some components of which would directly hit middle-class and lower-income Americans. On … More