Why the Bush Plan is the Wrong Plan for US

This chart compares the Bush plan to the Democratic plans: the Baucus and Pelosi economic stimulus plans. To see what goes into a good economic stimulus plan, see this chart

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Economic Stimulus ? First, Do No Harm

An economic stimulus plan will be on the table early in the next Congress. Following is the tentative schedule. Given the sudden change in Senate leadership with Sen. Trent Lott’s (R-MS) resignation as Senate Majority Leader, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how the budget process will proceed next year, including issues of timing, number of reconciliation bills, and content. The next Watcher may contain a very different timetable.

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GAO Reports on Job Prospects of Former TANF Recipients with Impairments

A recent study conducted by the General Accounting Office (GAO) examined the job prospects of people leaving the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Specifically, the study, shows that recipients of TANF “who had impairments were found to be half as likely to exit TANF as recipients without impairments…” Similar rates were seen among TANF recipients caring for children with impairments as those caring for children without impairments, even when factors such as marital status and age were taken into account. According to the GAO report, former TANF recipients with impairments are “one-third as likely as people without impairments to be employed,” with 40 percent of such former TANF recipients reporting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) assistance.

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It's the States' Turn

In the last year or so, we’ve seen some relatively large federal assistance provided to a few fairly large private industries. Last year, it was the $15 billion grant and loan package to “bailout” the airline industry after the September 11 attacks. At the time, it was seen as the prudent thing to do, since the federal government had grounded all flights for days until it could return some sense of security to the skies. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explained that the assistance was necessary because "a safe, viable and effective commercial air travel system is important to America’s economy and to our way of life."

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Budget Schedule

The incoming Director of Budget and Appropriations Issues for Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), G. William Hoagland, recently gave a briefing to states about the upcoming budget. Included in this piece are some points from that briefing and other reports, as well as a tentative schedule for completing work on the FY 2003 budget and beginning the FY 2004 budget work.

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Tax Cut Fever: What the Budget Future May Hold

With the shake-up in the Administration’s economic team, the recent rise in the unemployment rate to 6% (the highest rate in eight years), and absolutely no evidence that the massive Bush tax cut has done anything but send the federal budget on a rapid spiral into deficit, a reasonable person might think that it was time for the Administration to reevaluate the idea that tax cuts are the solution to everything. The President’s economic stimulus plan, currently in the design phase, however, is expected to consist of tax cuts aimed at corporations and individuals in the higher tax brackets.

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Congress Says "No" to Extending Unemployment Benefits

The 107th Congress officially adjourned on Friday, November 22, and, in doing so, squashed the last chance unemployed workers had this year to secure a needed additional extension of their unemployment benefits. The extension of these benefits will expire on December 28.

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A Dismal Outlook for Domestic Spending

Congress officially adjourned last Friday, after passing its seventh Continuing Resolution (CR) of the year. This CR, H.J. 124, was necessary to provide the funding to keep government running because Congress was unable to pass 11 of the 13 appropriations bills for FY 2003, which began on October 1, 2002. This CR funds departments and programs at their FY 2002 levels through January 11. It appears there will be an effort to pass the FY 2003 appropriations before the President’s State of the Union address, so at least one more CR will be necessary.

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Republicans Seek to Make Bush Tax Cuts Permanent

While Republicans seem to have at least temporarily backed off efforts to pass new and costly tax cuts, including a reduction in the capital gains tax, there is renewed talk about making permanent the Bush tax cut, which is slated to expire at the end of 2010.

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U.S. Treasury Releases FY 2002 Deficit Numbers

On Friday, October 25, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mitchell Daniels released the Treasury Department’s summary of the budget results for fiscal year 2002, which ended September 30. According to this report, FY 2002 closed with a $159 billion deficit -- $2 billion larger than the $157 billion the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted in its Monthly Review earlier this month.

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