Proposals to Cut Social Security Resurface

Proposals to cut earned Social Security benefits have resurfaced as politicians scramble to build a budget deal that could reopen the government and potentially avoid an economic disaster caused by a federal default.

read in full

Shutdown Impacts Beyond the Beltway

While it’s common to equate the federal government with the Washington, D.C. metro area, the federal government provides services all over the country. Because of this, the shutdown’s impact will ripple throughout the country – even before considering the broader economic impacts that would come if it is prolonged.

read in full

What the Government Shutdown Could Mean for You: Best Resources

Americans awoke this morning to discover the federal government had shut down.

To explain the impacts of the nation’s first shutdown in more than 17 years, numerous groups have organized fact sheets, reports, and blogs on the shutdown. We’ve compiled the best of these resources below to distill confusion about what the shutdown could mean for you.

read in full

Politically Driven Fiscal Crises Create Self-Inflicted Economic Wounds

The current political game of chicken that threatens to shut down the government or, even more seriously, could lead to an unprecedented U.S. default on its debt in mid-October is harmful for everyday Americans and businesses. Even getting close to a default can rattle markets, leading to increased borrowing costs for the U.S. and thus higher interest payments, crowding out resources for needs such as infrastructure, education, and scientific research. Economic disruptions caused by political battles in Washington only put more roadblocks in the way of an economic recovery.

read in full

House Slashes Food Assistance

On Thursday, the House Republicans passed the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act (H.R. 3102) to cut approximately $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next decade.  If enacted, these cuts would eliminate food assistance to 3.8 million low-income Americans.

read in full

Over $1 Trillion in Tax Breaks Are Detailed in New Report

Tax breaks cost the federal government approximately $1.13 trillion in fiscal year 2013, according to a new report by the National Priorities Project (NPP). That is just slightly less than all federal discretionary spending in FY 2013 combined.

read in full

Judging the Merits of Fiscal Deal Proposals

As Congress returns from recess, it faces a convergence of fiscal policy deadlines. The fiscal year is drawing to a close at the end of the month. No appropriations bills have been agreed to by both chambers, and none are ready for the president to sign into law. Furthermore, the debt ceiling will need to be raised soon, possibly as soon as next month.

read in full

The U.S. Federal Deficit Continues to Shrink

The federal budget deficit has been plummeting in size over the last few years; however, judging from polls, most Americans do not know that – indeed, their concern over the deficit has grown even as the annual deficit has shrunk significantly. And it continues to do so: the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated yesterday that the deficit for the first eleven months of this fiscal year fell $400 billion from the comparable period last year.

read in full

Nineteen Firefighters Die as Wildfire Prevention Budget Shrinks

While investigators are still working to understand why 19 elite firefighters died in Arizona on June 30 in the deadliest day for wilderness firefighters in 80 years, budget cutbacks may have played a role.

read in full

CTJ Report: Proposal for Tax Holiday Rewards Tax Dodgers

Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) released a report yesterday criticizing Rep. John Delaney’s (D-MD) proposal to allow corporations a tax-free holiday.

Under the proposal, H.R. 2084, multinational corporations would be allowed to bring their untaxed profits back into the United States without paying any taxes, assuming they invest in a bank to fund infrastructure projects.

read in full


Subscribe to The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government