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  • discretionary spending

    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

    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

    Budgets in Comparison: Will President Obama’s Budget Save the American Dream?

    When the President’s budget comes out Wednesday, it will complete the last piece of the budget puzzle, as the House and Senate have each duly passed a budget according to law. Never mind that the President’s budget is supposed to lead Washington budget discussions, rather than follow. The key question … More

    Obama Tax Hikes Will Balance the Budget (April Fool's)

    In the ongoing debate over deficit reduction, President Obama and his colleagues in the House and Senate incessantly call for tax increases as if our budget problems persisted because of taxes being too low. If only the federal government could usurp more of taxpayers’ hard earned money, the line of … More

    The RSC Budget: A First Look

    The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has proposed a budget that balances in just four years while holding tax revenue at near its historical average. It advances more aggressive entitlement reforms than the House Budget Committee plan, including Social Security, and features deeper spending cuts. Nevertheless, the plan also suffers weaknesses, … More

    The No-Surprise Senate Budget: Higher Spending, Higher Taxes, No Real “Balance”

    After going nearly four years without producing a budget resolution, Senate Democrats today released a plan confirming their mantra about “balanced” approaches has nothing to do with actually balancing the budget. In their view, “balance” is a mix of higher taxes and higher spending, chronic deficits and debt, and a … More

    The Senate Continuing Resolution and Its Demons

    The massive spending bill released by the Senate this week suffers the same flaws as the measure the House passed last week: It spends too much, fails to protect national defense, and is full of unnecessary, wasteful spending. Like the House bill, the Senate’s continuing resolution (CR)—which is needed to … More

    Morning Bell: 6 Things the Next U.S. Budget Should Do

    It’s time for Congress to make a real budget—and not just any budget. It’s been four years since the U.S. had a real budget. While the House of Representatives has passed budgets, the Senate has stopped each one. Instead, the Senate under Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has done short-term, … More

    Chart of the Week: Sequestration Cuts 2.4 Percent out of Total Spending

    Federal spending will explode from $3.6 trillion to $6 trillion over the next 10 years, but the much-maligned sequester will cut only 2.4 percent of this spending. Sequestration represents a relatively small cut in projected spending. So why are so many in Washington wringing their hands over a two-and-a-half percent … More

    Cutting Federal Waste: Not a Silver Bullet, but Still Important

    President Obama’s State of the Union Address tomorrow evening provides him with a chance to explain how he would put the country on a path to a balanced budget. He should talk about entitlement program reforms and meaningful discretionary spending cuts, but he should also target the low-hanging fruit of … More