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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

    VIDEO: Three Reasons to Reform Social Security Now

    In a recent video by ReasonTV, Nick Gillespie describes Social Security as a “fiscal and demographic disaster.” Heritage research provides further support that the program “desperately needs to be reformed right now—for at least three reasons”: Social Security pays more in taxes than it receives in benefits. A recent Heritage … 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

    Good News: Reporters Link Bigger Trade Deficit to Stronger Economy

    The government just announced that the trade deficit for May increased by $400 million. Usually, the media report announcements of bigger trade deficits as bad news, accompanied by mistaken assertions that trade deficits are a drag on the economy. But this time, some reporters got it right. According to Reuters: … 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

    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

    Quiet Before the Storm: CBO Reports $642 Billion Deficit in 2013

    At $642 billion, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports, the 2013 deficit will be lower by $200 billion than previously forecast. In February, the CBO projected a deficit of spending over revenue of $845 billion, but a large and temporary boost in revenues is pushing that figure down. Like the … More

    New Red Tape Rising Report: Regulation in Obama’s First Term

    Congress and the White House have been focused for much of this year on the federal budget—rightfully so, given perennial deficits and unsustainable levels of U.S. debt. However, federal spending accounts for only a portion of the burden placed on Americans by the government. Regulations impose huge additional costs, hindering … More

    Temporary Debt Paydown Just a Drop in the Bucket

    Reports that the federal government will put a little bit of money toward the massive federal debt for the first time in six years make for an interesting tidbit, but Washington’s spending and debt problem is only getting bigger. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Treasury Department said that it … More

    Time to Rethink Federal Highway Trust Fund Spending

    The Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which funds most surface interstate transportation programs, from roads to bridges, faces insolvency in a few short years. In a House Budget Hearing today, one witness—Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation—offered lawmakers a near-term solution akin to what The Heritage Foundation has proposed: Recommit HTF … More