Budget and economic news roundup

November 29, 2010

Here’s a roundup of this morning’s must-read budget and economic stories:

Today, three liberal groups — Demos, The Economic Policy Institute, and the Century Foundation — will unveil their plan for cutting the deficit. The plan will not call for domestic spending cuts, and according to The New York Times, would “leave the debt at a higher level as a share of the economy than the centrist plans.”

This week Congress will continue to debate whether to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. According to The Wall Street Journal, a vote could come as early as midweek. One thing yet to be determined: whether to extend the elimination of the estate tax.

USA Today takes a look at the nation’s debt and examines why things are different than in years past. Reporter Richard Wolf writes, “The nation has tackled fiscal challenges before: In 1983, it extended the solvency of Social Security. In 1986, it transformed the tax code. In 1990, 1993 and 1997, it reduced deficits, helping to usher in four years of budget surpluses. What’s different this time: The problem is much worse, and the nation is much more divided.”

In The Washington Post Harvard economist Martin Feldstein lays out a plan for reducing the deficit without raising taxes. Feldstein’s focus is on eliminating “tax expenditures” — tax rebate and credit programs that are not counted as government spending, but do, in fact, act as subsidies to certain groups.

According to The New York Times, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who will take over the House Oversight Committee in January, said he would use his post to find ways for the federal government to save money.

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