Competiting Claims on Our Fiscal Future

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a report from leading economists and budget experts criticing a recent paper from the Brookings Institute and the Heritage Foundation called "Taking Back Our Fiscal Future." From the CBPP press release: Sixteen leading economists and budget experts issued a major critique today of a recent proposal to address future federal budget deficits through radical changes in budget procedures for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These experts, who include a Nobel Laureate in economics, two former Office of Management and Budget Directors, and a former Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office, agree that the nation faces large, persistent budget deficits that would ultimately risk significant damage to the economy. They also concur that policymakers should begin now to make the tough choices needed to avert such deficits. But they believe the methods set forth in "Taking Back Our Fiscal Future" (TBOFF), a recent proposal by some analysts at the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, and other groups, are misguided. Instead, they believe policymakers should begin the hard work of building consensus on specific spending and tax measures that would start reducing longterm deficits, and they recommend a series of such measures. So, the Brookings/Heritage paper was signed by 16 "longtime federal budget and policy experts" and now CBPP has released their own report from another 16 prominent and expert folks. Seems like the right-of-centrists and left-of-centrists are gearing up for what could be major reforms to fundamental federal government supports and programs in 2009. Should be quite a fight - stay tuned. Reports: CBPP: A Balanced Approach to Restoring Fiscal Responsibility Brookings/Heritage: Taking Back Our Fiscal Future Commentary: Matthew Yglesias (The Atlantic): Fiscal Sanity How? Matthew Yglesias (The Atlantic): Leninism's Return Robert Kuttner (The American Prospect): Sensible Budget Wonks Strike Back Against Conservatives Mark Schmidt (The American Prospect): "Leninist Strategy" 2.0 Matt Lewis (Inclusionist): A Better Way on Long-Term Deficits Diane Lim Rogers (EconomistMom): But Really, Fiscal Responsibility Is Easier Under a Benevolent Dictatorship
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