The Bottom Line

July 24, 2009

July 24 - Read Fred Hiatt's excellent interview with President Obama on health care reform and the need to deal with the fiscal crisis.

Important points: 

July 22, 2009

Today, the House of Representatives passed statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) legislation, which would require that all new mandatory spending and tax cuts (with some exceptions) be offset in at least a deficit-neutral fashion.

July 21, 2009

July 21 - Today the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released "Health Care and the Federal Budget," which looks at the state of the U.S. health care system from a fiscal perspective. With national health spending totaling around $2.5 trillion in 2009,  and projected to grow to $4.4 trillion by 2018, there is obvious cause for concern that health care spending is out of control.

July 21, 2009

July 21 - Federal Reserve Board Chairman presented his twice a year monetary policy testimony and the Fed's semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress. 

July 19, 2009

July 18 - Yesterday, the CBO released preliminary cost estimates for the House Tri-Committee health care reform bill. According to the CBO, the bill would increase ten year deficits by $239 billion -- including by $65 billion in the tenth year alone.

July 17, 2009

July 17 - President Obama's chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers spoke today to the Peterson Institute for International Economics on "Rescuing and Rebuilding the U.S. Economy". Key points:

-         When the administration took over, the U.S. economy was "at the brink of catastrophe" and "the economy was in free fall". Six months later, things look better although challenges clearly remain.

July 17, 2009

July 17 - Today OMB Director Orszag urged Speaker Pelosi to support a Base Realignment And Closure-like (BRAC) process for reviewing Medicare changes by creating the Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC). Orszag argued that such a change "would represent a critical step forward in creating a health care system that rewards quality, restrains unnecessary costs, and provides better care to more Americans."

July 17, 2009

July 17 - Today OMB Director Orszag urged Speaker Pelosi to support a Base Realignment And Closure-like (BRAC) process for reviewing Medicare changes by creating the Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC).

July 16, 2009

July 16 - Cross currents in the U.S. economy are particularly evident today and illustrate why it is so difficult to figure out where the economy is heading.


July 14, 2009

July 14 - Earlier today, House Democrats released a draft of the America's Affordable Health Choices Act , along with a series of summary documents explaining components of the bill.

July 12, 2009

July 12 - Recent consumer confidence, spending and labor market data have raised questions about whether the economy is losing momentum, and these uncertainties have been reflected in recent financial market developments.

June 26, 2009

June 26 - Can we measure the effects of the economic stimulus legislation?  We are just starting to see effects show up in U.S. economic data.

June 25, 2009

June 25 - The Fed Read More

June 17, 2009

June 17 - Today the White House released its plan to overhaul the financial sector.  If adopted, will the proposals prevent another financial crisis, yet still allow sufficient financial innovation, both of which would benefit us all?  In other words, is the administration proposing "smart regulation", which will mean less cost to U.S.

June 13, 2009

June 13 - In this morning's weekly radio address, President Obama again made the case for health care reform, arguing that it is "essential to restoring fiscal responsibility." To ensure his health care reform plan will be deficit neutral over the next decade, the President anounced

June 10, 2009

June 10 - It seems like a no-brainer that the US should start planning how it will get its fiscal house in order when economic and financial recovery takes hold.  But sometimes outside pressure helps to remind us what the stakes of not cleaning up our act might be.  

June 10, 2009

Yesterday, President Obama announced his support for enacting statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO). Under the President's proposal, OMB would maintain a record of the ten year costs (and savings) from all tax changes and mandatory outlays enacted into law that year. If at the end of the year, enacted legislation subject to PAYGO combines to increase the ten year budget deficit, the President would need to sequester spending from some mandatory programs.

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