“Real” Federal Deficit Four Times Official Number

For some time, the Institute for Truth in Accounting has been beating the drum of "accounting truth" in government finances. Recently USA Today picked up on their claim that true federal deficits and debt are several times larger than the official numbers. They ran the numbers and found that "the government ran red ink last … Continue reading “Real” Federal Deficit Four Times Official Number

Do We Need a Commerce Department?

President Obama has just announced his nominee to be the next Secretary of the Commerce Department. In the WSJ's words: "President Barack Obama will nominate John Bryson, a senior adviser to the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., to be his next commerce secretary." The Journal continues: Mr. Bryson, one of 20 senior advisers … Continue reading Do We Need a Commerce Department?

Balanced Budgets and the States

I had a recent post on the unfunded liabilities burden in the states. Related to that post--and the $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities--Steven Greenhouse has an interesting piece in today’s New York Times that explores what might be an emerging trend: “Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, … Continue reading Balanced Budgets and the States

The Fiscal Responsibility Debate Ctd.

Former OMB Director Peter Orszag has written a well-reasoned piece on the co-chair's proposal on Social Security (see today's NYT). Money Quote: If Congress were to take all four of these recommended steps, it could not only eliminate the long-term deficit in Social Security but also make the system much more progressive. Even compared with … Continue reading The Fiscal Responsibility Debate Ctd.

Friday Surprise: Krugman hates the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Professor Krugman has an opinion piece in the NYT today chastising the “Hijacked Commission.” No one who has read Dr. Krugman’s columns before will be at all surprised with his take on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. It may be “bipartisan,” he notes, but this simply means that the commission will be … Continue reading Friday Surprise: Krugman hates the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

The Politics of Fiscal Irresponsibility

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles foreshadowed some of the ideas currently being circulated within President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with their co-chairs’ proposal (download here). The work of the Commission is critical. The deficit is heading toward the 10.6 percent of GDP (the highest in the postwar period) and the debt … Continue reading The Politics of Fiscal Irresponsibility

A Winning Agenda

Like many other people, I was underwhelmed by the recently released Republican "Pledge to America." Longwinded, wishy-washy, and mostly tinkering on the edges. I am not a member of the Republican Party (or any other party), and I am indeed one of those who fails to much difference of substance between the two major parties---at … Continue reading A Winning Agenda