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Cooking The Numbers

One of the first things Republicans did upon taking control of Congress was requiring the Congressional Budget Office to use “dynamic scoring” when assessing tax cuts (but not spending increases).  My latest column for The Hill explores this cynical move: At best, the change to dynamic scoring will affect a very small number of bills […]

OK, that’s a picture of a cronut, not a cromnibus, but there is no question about which one is tastier.  My latest column talks about why we had better get used to the type of horse-trading represented in the cromnibus though. The debate over the cromnibus will be replayed on a larger scale from October […]

A top U.S. health official says we’d have an Ebola vaccine by now if there had not been so much budget cutting. Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, […]

I have been among those concerned about the fiscal health of Medicare.  Margaret Sanger-Katz and Kevin Quealy give us grounds for cautious optimism. The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion. That sum is greater […]

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its long term budget outlook this week.  William Gale summarized it so you don’t have to read all the details: The size of the budget deficit today isn’t a problem, and it’s not much of a problem for the next few years either. “If current laws governing taxes and […]

The United States Senate today confirmed Shaun Donovan to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. In a 75-22 vote the Senate made the current Housing and Urban Development the new Budget Director after having confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro On Wednesday to replace Donovan at HUD. In his time […]

Thou Shalt Not Criticize St. Ronnie is not something that can be violated, it seems. In a variety of campaign appearances that were captured on video, Paul repeatedly compared Reagan unfavorably to Carter on one of Paul’s top policy priorities: government spending. When Paul was a surrogate speaker for his father, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), […]

The budget deficit for the first half of 2014 is $413 billion, $187 billion less than at the same time last year. And there’s more good news. The deficit for the month of March stood at $37 billion, down from $107 billion last year. That figure was the smallest deficit for the month of March […]

Yes, it exists, and its’ the work of Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn and Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McKaskill. The bill is meant to cut down on “the collection and distribution of government information” by prioritizing using Google over spending money to obtain information from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). NTIS, run by the […]

It can’t pass the Senate. It won’t be signed by the President. It will go nowhere. But the House has certainly made a political statement. The 219-205 vote on the nonbinding framework takes a mostly symbolic swipe at the government’s chronic deficits. Follow-up legislation to actually implement the cuts isn’t in the cards. The plan […]

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