The False Sense of Balance of a Balanced Budget Amendment

With federal borrowing rapidly approaching its statutory limit, Washing politicians are falling all over themselves to figure out how to extract more budget concessions from President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in exchange for not throwing the world's financial markets into a panic.

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Spending Caps: The House Budget Resolution by Another Name

As the date approaches when the Treasury will meet the debt ceiling, the demands of the hostage takers House and Senate conservatives who are playing hard-to-get for their vote to up the ceiling are becoming known. And naturally, rather than put forth ideas that would make a serious attempt at reducing the federal budget deficit, these MOCs are demanding budget mechanisms designed to only limit spending.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, April 2011

Same Report, Different Month

Last Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for April. If you've been keeping an eye on this blog, you'd know that the $830 billion deficit Uncle Sam has racked up over the first six months of fiscal year (FY) 2011 is unsurprising and isn't really newsworthy. Of course, that's not the way it's likely to play out in the media or on Capitol Hill.

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Paul Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' ... for the Rich


Released Tuesday morning amid great fanfare, Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget proposal is turning out to be a grab bag of right-wing economic crankery. In fact, that's too nice: the proposal is flat out awful. And when I say "awful," I don't just mean evisceration-of-two-very-popular-social-safety-net-programs or two-thirds-of-proposed-spending-cuts-from-low-income-programs awful, but tax-hikes-on-middle-and-low-income-folks-combined-with-tax-cuts-for-the-rich awful.

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The Ryan Plan: Budgeting for Big Business

The House Budget Committee approved last night Rep. Paul Ryan's budget resolution proposal. What would House Republicans' do given their way? Write big checks to big businesses, cut taxes for the rich, and cut off health care, nutrition, and housing assistance for the poor.

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The Balanced Budget Amendment That Isn’t About Balancing the Budget

In a move hearkening back to the Clinton era, Senate Republicans introduced a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution earlier today. All 47 members of the caucus are cosponsoring the bill, a strong show of force. But here’s the thing: this balanced budget amendment isn’t about balancing the budget.

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Our Six-Point Plan for Spending Transparency

As I wrote about yesterday in this post, last Friday the House Oversight Committee held a great hearing focusing on spending transparency. We submitted written testimony for the hearing, which you can read here. In it, we talk about the six changes Congress and the Obama administration should make to, the government's spending website which is based off of one of our websites,

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Transparency Hearing Highlights Spending Data Issues

Even though Sunshine Week is officially this week, the House of Representatives got the ball rolling last Friday. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform (say that ten times fast) held a hearing called "Transparency Through Technology: Evaluating Federal Open-Government Initiatives," although the hearing focused more on spending transparency than anything else. While one would expect that an oversight hearing in the House “evaluating” the Obama administration’s transparency efforts would be contentious, the most surprising aspect of the hearing was that it wasn’t.

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On Public Wages, Let's Hear from Business Leaders

A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says, 'Watch out for that union guy – he wants a piece of your cookie!'

An interesting exchange occurred last week between a top government official and a group of corporate leaders attending the first meeting of President Obama's Management Advisory Board. According to Robert Brodsky of Government Executive, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) John Berry appealed to the board to help set the record straight about "overpaid" public employees.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, February 2011

Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for February is out and it has piqued deficit hawks around Washington. The thing is, though, February's MBR is just like all the rest of CBO's recent monthly budget reports: it reveals that the country spent a lot more money than it took in over the previous thirty-day period.

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