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  • Taxes & Spending

    Morning Bell: 6 Fixes to America's Fiscal Crisis

    President Obama made his first offer to congressional Republicans yesterday in negotiations over the “fiscal cliff”—an economic catastrophe of tax hikes just a few weeks away. The White House’s proposal? $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $50 billion in new stimulus spending, and a change that would make it easier to … More

    Fiscal Cliff: Where Are Your Spending Cuts, Mr. President?

    The fiscal cliff debate has centered on talk of raising taxes on high-income Americans. The silence on spending cuts has been deafening. On Monday, as if on cue, came investor Warren Buffett’s rehashed—albeit flat-out wrong—proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy. Even though the Obama Administration has said both sides … More

    Chart of the Week: Defense Budget Cuts Gamble with National Security

    The third and final presidential debate between President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney will feature several different questions on the role of America abroad and other aspects of foreign policy. Obama and Romney will likely address the nation’s impending spending crisis and automatic defense budget cuts, known as sequestration. … More

    Obama Ducks Responsibility for Washington's Spending Binge

    In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, host Steve Kroft primed President Obama with this statement: “Most Americans think we’re spending too much money.” To which Obama uttered a contemplative “Mm-hm.” An understatement, indeed. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal spending will reach $3.56 trillion, or about 23 percent … More

    Socialist Austerity in France

    Francois Hollande won election to the French presidency by promising that more government spending would lead to quick economic growth. He sharply criticized the “austerity”—i.e., sudden spending cuts—proposed by his opponent. A few months later, Hollande has come full circle. In addition to a tax increase that has wealthy French … More

    Dependence on Government vs. the American Dream

    Mother Jones has opened a broad debate about the role of government in our society. In a clandestine tape recorded in May and obtained by the magazine, former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) remarked that 47 percent of taxpayers pay no federal income taxes. He notes, among other things, the increase … More

    Congress Must Address Both Defense Sequestration and Deficits

    Earlier this week, the Obama White House criticized Members of Congress for examining the effects of the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to kick in next year. Instead, the Administration said it would prefer that lawmakers turn their attention to longer-term deficit reduction proposals. But this is not … More

    Fix Entitlement Programs to Save the American Dream

    The latest installment in a National Public Radio (NPR) series considers how entitlement programs impact Americans’ opportunities. This is a welcome discussion, because growing entitlement spending threatens the American dream for people of all generations. Spending on the three main entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—is projected to double as … More

    First Reactions to Ryan's Path to Prosperity Budget

    There are six key elements to a successful federal government budget, including the plan released today by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R—WI): Does it cut spending sharply and quickly? Does it begin decisive entitlement reform? Does it avoid any tax hikes? Does it ensure a strong national defense? … More

    The Entitlement Crisis: At Least Congress Is Still Paying Attention

    While the President’s FY2013 budget ignores the looming crisis of entitlement spending, the House and Senate Budget Committees, to their credit, are keeping their eyes on the ball this week with hearings on the three largest threats to the country’s economic health: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These hearings usefully … More