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Fiscal-Cliff-Diving

There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration."
Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 1, 2012 - 214 comments

"I don’t think most people could bear to pay more."

"We’re not going to say, 'Give it to me and let my grandchildren suffer.' I think they underestimate seniors when they think that way." But 71-year-old Barbara Sullivan cannot imagine asking people to pay higher taxes. And as she considered making do with less, she started to cry." (slnyt) [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Feb 12, 2012 - 131 comments

Government Debt Dynamics - A Calculator

"GOVERNMENT debt dynamics, once an esoteric subject of interest only to macroeconomists, are suddenly in vogue. With Greece flirting with default, Italy's bond yields rising fast, and America's government bonds losing their AAA status, public-debt burdens have become dinner-party talk. Our interactive chart shows current IMF forecasts but also allows you to input some basic economic assumptions to see where general government debt as a percentage of GDP might head."
posted by storybored on Dec 12, 2011 - 16 comments

Red state in the red?

Where Federal taxes are raised and spent. "Some American states receive more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes; others receive less. Over twenty years these fiscal transfers can add up to a sizeable sum." A graph of the United States, color-coded to indicate surplus or deficit.
posted by dubold on Aug 6, 2011 - 52 comments

Bubbles and Public Facts

The Destruction of Economic Facts - "Renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto argues that the financial crisis wasn't just about finance—it was about a staggering lack of knowledge" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 23, 2011 - 35 comments

Budget Balancer of the Year: You

The Program for Public Consultation carried out a different kind of budget poll -- they asked each of their respondents to generate a package of tax increases and spending cuts sufficient for substantial deficit reduction, then averaged the results. The outcome was not what you might expect. The mean package included twice as much tax increase as spending cut: big deficit-reducing moves included substantial income tax increases for the highest brackets and deep cuts in defense spending. Republicans cut less spending than Democrats, as did people who identified as "very sympathetic to the Tea Party." Hardly anybody likes the reduction of the estate tax. Why is the public consensus so different from the Washington consensus? Read the full report (.pdf) Or try the interactive budget exercise.
posted by escabeche on Mar 6, 2011 - 52 comments

The Real Reagan

Introducing The Real Reagan. "There is much to appreciate and even like about America's 40th president, and his two terms in office were not without significant achievements. But Ronald Reagan and his presidency are also badly misunderstood. To mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, we are offering what we hope will be a respite from the hagiography that has taken hold elsewhere -- a critical, but fair and respectful, exploration of the real Ronald Reagan." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 6, 2011 - 149 comments

How would you solve the US deficit?

How would you solve the US deficit? Interactive US national budget calculator from the NYT.
posted by modernnomad on Nov 14, 2010 - 104 comments

Draft recommendations from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

In a surprise move, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Senator Majority Whip Alan Simpson (R-WY), held a press conference today - three weeks in advance of the due date for the Commission's final report - to announce their draft recommendations on how to reduce the federal budget deficit. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 10, 2010 - 125 comments

The Opening of a Conservative Mind

Bruce Bartlett, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, speaks out against Republicans - The monumental hypocrisy of the Republican Party is something amazing to behold. And their dimwitted accomplices in the tea-party movement are not much better. They know that Republicans, far more than Democrats, are responsible for our fiscal mess, but they won't say so. And they adamantly refuse to put on the table any meaningful programme that would actually reduce spending. Judging by polls, most of them seem to think that all we have to do is cut foreign aid, which represents well less than 1% of the budget. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 26, 2010 - 156 comments

Wednesday Flash Fun for Policy Wonks

After America Speaks gave 3500 people the opportunity to address the budget deficit, the CEPR has invented its own play-at-home version, the Deficit Calculator. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Jun 30, 2010 - 28 comments

The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration

The High Budgetary Cost of Incaceration (Full pdf) "The United States currently incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world. We calculate that a reduction in incarceration rates just to the level we had in 1993 (which was already high by historical standards) would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year, with the large majority of these savings accruing to financially squeezed state and local governments. As a group, state governments could save $7.6 billion, while local governments could save $7.2 billion."
posted by OmieWise on Jun 18, 2010 - 64 comments

Sometimes, I doubt our commitment to Sparkle Motion

Make Work[1,2,3] or: How I Learned[4,5] to Stop Worrying[6] and Love Deficit Spending[7,8,9] (during a general glut at the zero bound) -- When I was a kid, if I was sitting around the house and complained I didn't have anything to do, my mom would always respond the same way. "I'll find something for you to do," and she would. It was make work, she was finding something for me to do on the spot to cure my unemployment problem... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 8, 2010 - 33 comments

The Audacity of Dope

With its $41 billion deficit spiraling out of control and federal judges ordering its prisoners released to relieve overcrowding, can legal marijuana save California?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Feb 12, 2009 - 82 comments

The U.S. takes the crown.

Where do you find the U.S. in this 2006 CIA World Factbook list? Yep. It's ok... things are cool because of all those lucrative foreign investments like T-bills. Trouble is, oil and euros are looking a lot better. Is this a recipe for a collapse?
posted by chef_boyardee on Aug 14, 2006 - 42 comments

Graphs of US federal revenue and spending

Mark Wieczorek has put together some graphs of US federal revenue and spending and the US trade deficit, with a minimum of editorializing. They're shown using nominal dollars, real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, and as a percentage of GDP.
posted by russilwvong on Jul 11, 2006 - 33 comments

Bye Bye Funding.

CNN reports that the House passed HR 4241 this morning by a narrow vote almost entirely along party lines. This is part of the Republican Party's Operation Offset (previously discussed here) designed to cut spending to counter the deficit, growing by leaps and bounds because of Iraq & Katrina (among other things). Now they'll have to work to reconcile it with the Senate version, SR 1932 (voting record here). You may want to Write your representative to let them know how you feel. You might also want to express your displeasure to the two Dems who didn't vote, considering the bill passed by a margin of 2. [Budget Filter]
posted by papakwanz on Nov 18, 2005 - 48 comments

An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave-driver

Still Broke? Things getting worse? Well you should follow your own advice! Continued from.
posted by lalochezia on Sep 21, 2005 - 41 comments

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government We have a larger govt now (people working for the govt) than we have ever had. We have now the Patriot Act, overseeing much of our activities. We have intelligence agencies doing lord knows what domestically, and security checks etc. Now we learn that Big govt is back? Where had it been before the storm?
posted by Postroad on Sep 15, 2005 - 43 comments

Da Deficit

How much? (sun times link) So the story is we're going to have an estimated $427 billion shortfall. So what does that mean? According to this guy the deficit is more of a metaphor than something real. According to newhouse news service the deficit gets added to the national debt (and is terrifying). According to this guy the deficit is not a well defined concept Will it stimulate the economy? Increase taxes? It's too complex for me even though it's in the news a lot. $7.9 trillion in debt doesn't sound good though... I think I'll just keep blaming this guy.
posted by Smedleyman on Jan 25, 2005 - 31 comments

Currency Events

Will Currency Wars Effect You? Oldman gives a quick run-through of the geopolitics of America's budget deficit, with some likely scenarios for the next 2-5 years.
posted by alms on Nov 18, 2004 - 26 comments

Depressing Times we live in.

This is a very depressing time to exist, it seems. Watching the country you love (or hate) slowly disintegrate makes me wonder about how it all felt before.
posted by psychotic_venom on Mar 16, 2004 - 26 comments

The phrase ''Banana Republican'' comes to mind

I.M.F. Report Says U.S. Deficits Threaten World Economy
With its rising budget deficit and ballooning trade imbalance, the United States is running up a foreign debt of such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund. Prepared by a team of I.M.F. economists, the report sounded a loud alarm about the shaky fiscal foundation of the United States, questioning the wisdom of the Bush administration's tax cuts and warning that large budget deficits pose "significant risks" not just for the United States but for the rest of the world. The report warns that the United States' net financial obligations to the rest of the world could be equal to 40 percent of its total economy within a few years--"an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country," according to the fund, that could play havoc with the value of the dollar and international exchange rates.
From The Brookings Institute: Sustained Budget Deficits: Longer-Run U.S. Economic Performance and the Risk of Financial and Fiscal Disarray (Full Report PDF)
posted by y2karl on Jan 8, 2004 - 60 comments

A flood of red ink

A flood of red ink This time the turnaround will be much tougher. There will be no “peace dividend” from the end of the cold war (indeed, the pressure on military spending may continue to increase). America is unlikely to see another stockmarket bubble, with its surge in tax revenues. As baby-boomers retire, the pressure from entitlement spending will be more acute. Set against this background, the path back to a sustainable fiscal policy will be extremely painful, even without any dramatic fiscal crisis. Long after Dubya is back on his ranch, Americans will be trying to recover from the mess he created.
posted by y2karl on Nov 6, 2003 - 35 comments

Deficit, anyone?

Is the budget deficit going to be the other shoe that drops on the Bush administration? In the OMB's mid-session review [pdf], it admits the federal budget deficit would balloon to a record $455 billion this fiscal year after absorbing immediate costs from the war in Iraq, and then climb $20 billion higher in 2004. That's a 50% increase since the administration's last forecast five months ago. At least a few economists think even that number is underestimated. To top it off, the consequences of an increasingly large deficit and accompanying tax cuts are being passed on to the states. How's that for a neat twist on federalism?
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 15, 2003 - 9 comments

Mister, that sure is one big baby...

Drowning the government in a bathtub - "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Thus spoke Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform. "The lunatics are now in charge of the asylum", quipped the conservative UK Financial Times. Hardly, says Paul Krugman. The strategy?: "Instead of challenging popular liberal programs directly, the Republicans are creating fiscal conditions that make those programs unsustainable." [lead post, Am. Prospect]. In other words, the 400 billion dollar deficit, coupled with the Bush tax cuts, is designed to shift the obligations of the Fed onto the States and, later, to cause a fiscal train wreck after Bush is out of office.
posted by troutfishing on Jun 12, 2003 - 58 comments

Political Fratricide

Political Fratricide: The GOP is reportedly [+] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 1, 2003 - 12 comments

"Only in the case of war, a recession, or a national emergency",

"Only in the case of war, a recession, or a national emergency", Bush promised during his 2000 campaign, would he ever enter deficit spending. He now repeatedly and rather mordidly jokes that he never imagined that he'd hit the "trifecta" by getting all three- perhaps to explain why we are now experiencing a $100 billion dollar deficit this year. One tiny problem: Bush never made this supposed campaign promise despite frequently claiming just such as thing, as Jonathan Chait of TNR notes in his recent column. These "special conditions" for deficit spending and depleting the Social Security surplus were spun out of thin air just last summer, and modified post- 9/11, as a necessary escape clause when the budget crunch hit.
posted by hincandenza on May 13, 2002 - 12 comments

White House predicts budget deficits until 2005.

White House predicts budget deficits until 2005. Uh... cause of the war, not monster tax cuts to businesses and billionaires... yeah, that's the ticket!
posted by mattpusateri on Nov 28, 2001 - 19 comments

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