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There’s Nothing to Fear But the Debt Itself

March 28, 2013 Quick, which segment of federal spending will grow fastest from 2015 through 2021? Did you guess Medicare? If you did, you’d be wrong. It’s an underappreciated fact that a significant contributor to the ballooning debt is ... the debt itself. Federal interest payments are projected to grow faster over the...

Nondefense Slice of Domestic Spending on Track to Hit 50-Year Low

March 15, 2013 Here’s one key takeaway from the Senate Democratic and House Republican budgets released this week: Under each, nondefense spending—funding for things like welfare programs and government operations—will reach a 50-year low, as a share of economic activity, within a few years. Every year, the government spends money in two broad...

In the Budget Debate, Even the Definition of Spending Is Up for Grabs

March 6, 2013 If you need a sign that Washington is going to have a tough time breaking its gridlock on the budget, look no further than the fact that Democrats and Republican can't even agree to the terms of the debate. For a while now, a so-called "grand bargain" on long-term deficit...

Sequester Fears May Be Overhyped, Overblown and Overly Politicized

February 28, 2013 Let’s be clear about one thing: The across-the-board spending cuts known as the "sequester” aren’t a doomsday scenario, or a meteorite that will blow up the economy. Teachers, FBI agents, and Border Patrol officers will not get fired tomorrow, when the sequester kicks in. The Internal Revenue Service will still...

Introducing Obama's Likely Pick for Energy Secretary

February 21, 2013 President Obama has settled on MIT professor Ernest Moniz to be the next head of the Energy Department, according to reports. Here's what you need to know about him. No Stranger to Government. Moniz has held key energy policy roles under Presidents Clinton and Obama. As under secretary for energy...

Why It's A Good Sign For Jacob Lew His Hearing Was So Bland

February 14, 2013 Jacob Lew could hardly have asked for a better confirmation hearing: It was bland, civil, and almost forgettable. Even the activists in attendance didn’t interrupt the proceeding. Lew, President Obama’s chief of staff until last month, went in to his confirmation hearing for Treasury secretary on Wednesday without much to...

Treasury Nominee Expected to Ace Confirmation Hearing

February 12, 2013 Jacob Lew is nothing if not prepared. If the Obama administration’s critics are bracing for the possibility of a gaffe or off-message comment from the nominee for Treasury secretary, they could be waiting a long time. Lew, a veteran of confirmation hearings and budget fights, doesn’t get flustered easily, and...

The 22 Funniest #GeithnerBookTitles Tweets

February 6, 2013 News broke late Wednesday morning that former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner plans to write a book about his response to the financial crisis. According to the Associated Press: Geithner has not started writing the book and no timetable has been set for a deal, but an official with knowledge of...

Why the White House keeps missing its budget deadline

February 5, 2013 When the White House missed its deadline to release a budget on Monday, officials did something a little unusual: They declined to say when the blueprint would be released. The failure to meet the deadline was not new. Under federal law, the president is required to release a budget for...

Economy could take big hit from lapse of payroll-tax cut

February 5, 2013 The recent payroll-tax hike could play a major role in slowing down consumer spending this quarter. When lawmakers negotiated a deal last month to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, they let the 2 percentage-point cut to the payroll tax expire. Some economists have argued that the...

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