Budget and economic news roundup
Here’s a roundup of this morning’s must-read budget and economic stories:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is set today to lay out to Congress his plans for cuts to Pentagon spending. (The Washington Examiner argues that defense spending must be “on the table” for budget cuts.)
CNBC says the U.S. could lose its top credit rating if lawmakers don’t make good on their promise to cut the budget deficit. On that note…
Are they or aren’t they? Yesterday morning it looked as if House Republicans were walking back on their pledge to cut $100 billion in spending this year. By the afternoon, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told The National Journal that the party wasn’t retreating. (Still, the magazine says it will be tough to make the $100 billion goal.) According to The Washington Post, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) says the GOP will cut something like $60 billion this year. Bloomberg and The Associated Press have more.
Yesterday the House voted for a rule (“Cutgo”) that would require increases in mandatory spending be offset by spending cuts only. This rule will replace the former House “Paygo” rule, in which either spending cuts – or tax increases – could be used to offset new mandatory spending.
The Wall Street Journal says momentum is building for an overhaul to corporate taxes this year.
According to Politico, President Obama will name his new National Economic Council chair on Friday. The frontrunner appears to be the Treasury Department’s Gene Sperling.
Some ideas for reducing spending from the op-eds pages: Diana Furchgott-Roth looks at the Highway Trust Fund, Veronique de Rugy looks at Medicare and Medicaid, and Daniel Henninger looks at the President’s power to cut spending. The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel also weighs in.