Leading Senator Calls for End of Fiscal Brinksmanship

On Sept. 17, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, spoke on the floor of the Senate and said congressional Republicans need to come to the negotiating table and end the looming fiscal standoffs that are less than two weeks away.

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Super Committee "Failure" Is Anything But

On Monday evening (Nov. 21), the Super Committee formally announced that it was unable to reach an agreement for reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion. While others are decrying the lack of agreement by the Super Committee and calling it a failure, we at OMB Watch believe that each of us should, instead, be relieved.

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Obama's New Deficit Reduction Plan Unapologetically Balanced

Earlier today, President Obama released a new plan for reducing the federal deficit, or the shortfall between revenues and spending. The plan is technically a set of recommendations for the Super Committee, which Congress created last month to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. Obama’s plan isn’t ideal, but it is easily one of the best set of deficit reduction recommendations to come out of Washington in a while.

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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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$3.3 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan Set to Take Effect Jan. 1

One deficit plan that's not getting much attention, and one which can easily pass a Republican-controlled Congress, is the one that the Republican-controlled Congress approved in 2001 (and further augmented in 2003): The 2001-2003 Bush tax cuts.

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Fiscal Commission Suffering from a Raging Case of the Stupid

A dunce cap is still culturally relevant when referencing idiocy, right?

Over the weekend, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairmen of the president's debt and deficit commission, spoke to the National Governors Association in Boston. During their speech, Simpson and Bowles hinted at the recommendations their group will make to Congress later this year. Despite pleas to the contrary – including during its recent public hearing – the commission seems bent on a package composed mostly of spending and entitlement cuts.

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Could Social Security Cuts be closer than We Think?

Scissors Beat Paper

That's the question Brian Beutler over at Talking Points Memo raises this morning while reporting on the possibility of a bipartisan consensus on scaling back Social Security benefits materializing in Congress. Recognizing that such a proposal is usually "the third rail of American politics," Beutler lays out the not-impossible scenario of deficit-weary members of Congress sacrificing the relatively solvent entitlement program of Social Security before the alter of fiscal austerity.

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Krugman: Unemployed and the Country at Large Need UI Extension

Mr. Paul Krugman

Writing in the New York Times over the long weekend, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman continued to make the case for more government stimulus of the economy. He wasn't advocating for the usual stimulus that funds road and bridge projects or shores up state budgets – though that is still needed. He was promoting unemployment insurance (UI), which is helping to hold the economy together by keeping the jobless in their homes and food on their tables as they slog through "the worst job market since the Great Depression."

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More Hope for the President's Fiscal Commission?

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Yesterday, I happened upon a short post by Berkeley economist Brad DeLong in which he quoted from a recent Daily Caller article taking the temperature of DC insiders prior to the start of President Obama's debt commission. DeLong found Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) comments about eliminating $300 billion worth of waste in Medicaid through the commission discouraging, as "[t]otal Medicaid spending this year is currently pegged at $280 billion." Notwithstanding his obvious mistake, I thought Coburn's comments were encouraging.

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Repubs on Fiscal Commission not Ruling out Tax Increases

Republican Leadership

An article in The Hill on Saturday provided a glimmer of hope for those of us keeping an eye on President Obama’s debt panel. According to the piece, “Republicans aren’t ruling out raising taxes or any other option for dealing with the country’s debt problem as they head into the White House fiscal commission’s first meeting,” which is scheduled for early next week.

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