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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
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Study shows budget deal will cut spending by only $352 million

April 14, 2011 A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the fiscal 2011 spending deal that Congress will vote on Thursday concludes that it would cut spending this year by less than one-one hundredth of what both Republicans or Democrats have claimed. A comparison prepared by the CBO shows that the omnibus spending bill,...

Budget cutting a difficult task

April 12, 2011 The meat of the spending deal struck between the two parties late Friday night was revealed in a legislative omnibus released early Tuesday morning. The specifics show that finding nearly $40 billion in cuts during the 2011 fiscal year required clever accounting and, for the White House, a willingness to...

House budget chair offers plan with $6 trillion in cuts

April 5, 2011 House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget is estimated to cost $6.2 trillion less over 10 years than President Obama's plan, with an initial deficit of $950 billion next year that decreases, along with government debt, over time. But some of the savings in Ryan's budget will be difficult...

Fiscal debate shifts from short-term cuts to long-term fixes

April 4, 2011 The budget process shifts into a new gear this week with the introduction of House Republicans' 2012 budget plan, which will offer long-awaited specifics on GOP promises for far-reaching entitlement programs. The proposals will force Senate Democrats and the White House to engage in a long-term fiscal debate and provide...

Lawmakers seeking private funds for major infrastructure

March 17, 2011 As Washington struggles to balance economic development with budgetary austerity, some lawmakers are coalescing behind plans to attract private funds for investment in major infrastructure projects with a minimum of public money involved. Two bills focus on infrastructure-a priority of the president and, in rare concert, the business and labor...

Federal performance chief: It's about managing missions, metrics

February 18, 2011 Jeffrey Zients, who made a fortune advising companies on best business practices (working with National Journal and Government Executive owner David Bradley), became the federal government's first chief performance officer in 2009, helping to bring private-sector innovation to public-sector practice. The administration's agenda is now focused on repairing its relationship...

Obama budget calls for targeted cuts

February 14, 2011 President Obama's 2012 budget, out this morning, calls for $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years, with roughly two-thirds drawn from spending cuts and another third from revenue increases. Under the White House plan, the deficit would peak this year at $1.6 trillion, or 10.9 percent of...

GOP proposed cuts get smaller the closer you look

February 4, 2011 Thursday's spending announcements from the House Budget and Appropriations committees finally answered the question of how much money Republicans want to cut from the budget. The problem? There is more than one answer, depending on where you start. First, Republican leadership aides announced that Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.,...

House GOP proposes $74 billion in spending cuts

February 3, 2011 This article has been updated. House Republicans are proposing to slash $74 billion in discretionary spending this year, and have included a surprise cut of $16 billion for defense and other security programs. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to file a budget resolution Tuesday using unilateral...

Obama rebuffs GOP calls for immediate deep spending cuts

January 25, 2011 While President Obama is known for campaigning on change, his State of the Union Address offered much of the same rhetoric on fiscal responsibility he has deployed in the past two years. Rather than meeting Republicans half-way on spending after his party's electoral set-back this fall, he asked them to...