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  • Overview and Summary: The Spending, Deficit, and Debt Control Act of 2009
    Posted in HBC Publications on November 3, 2009 | Preview rr

    As Americans watch their paychecks stagnate, their jobs disappear, and their savings shrink, Washington continues its relentless expansion of spending, deficits, and debt. Federal outlays are soaring, the deficit just eclipsed the $1-trillion mark, and the Federal debt is on a path to consume resources matching the size of the entire economy. This year, more than half of Federal spending is outside the annual control of Congress, and the non-defense share of the remainder is growing at double-di... Read more

  • The Democrats' $247-Billion Doc Fix Exemption
    Posted in HBC Publications on October 21, 2009 | Preview rr

    In 1997, as part of a bipartisan bill to balance the budget, Congress attempted to control Medicare’s skyrocketing growth through a payment formula known as the sustainable growth rate [SGR]. It has been difficult for Congress to adhere to the resulting reductions in physicians’ payments. In fact, since 2002, Congress has stepped in to delay these cuts from taking place, providing an annual “patch,” which has made the problem worse. In January, absent a change in law, Medicare physician payment... Read more

  • Homeland Security Appropriations - Conference Report
    Posted in HBC Publications on October 15, 2009 | Preview rr
    Tags: Appropriations

    The conference report on fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security appropriations increases discretionary budget authority [BA] by $612 million, or 1.5 percent, above the 2009 enacted level. This figure does not, however, reflect the $2.8 billion this subcommittee received from the “stimulus” bill earlier this year. In addition, the bill contains two violations of the Congressional Budget Act, described below; but the points of order that would lie against the measure will likely be waived by the rule ... Read more

  • Agriculture Appropriations - Conference Report
    Posted in HBC Publications on October 7, 2009 | Preview rr

    The conference report on Agriculture appropriations increases discretionary spending by 14 percent ($2.8 billion) compared with the 2009 enacted (scored) level. The measure, H.R. 2997, provides $23.3 billion in new fiscal year 2010 budget authority [BA], and $17.7 billion in outlays. This follows an addition of $26.5 billion in 2009 for the programs funded in this bill in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The legislation – formally the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Admi... Read more

  • Continuing Resolution/Legislative Branch Appropriations
    Posted in HBC Publications on September 25, 2009 | Preview rr

    Having failed to send the President even one completed appropriations bill so far this year, Congress nevertheless has made sure to fund itself while other agencies contend with temporary funding in a continuing resolution [CR]. Fiscal year 2010 starts at midnight next week Thursday, and without a CR non-essential government activities would shut down at that point. The measure, brought to the House floor today, is attached to the conference report for Legislative Branch appropriations. Agencies... Read more

  • Medicare Savings for Health Care: Can Congres Stay the Course?
    Posted in HBC Publications on September 18, 2009 | Preview rr

    With the President’s commitment that health care legislation will not increase the deficit, the savings included in any bill must be durable. Because large amounts of the savings proposed come from Medicare, it is useful to review the history of previously enacted Medicare reductions. As it turns out, roughly one-third of the $390 billion in savings enacted in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 have since been reversed (see Table 1 below) – and with bipartisan support. In addition, Democratic-led C... Read more

  • Bigger Government
    Posted in HBC Publications on September 3, 2009 | Preview rr

    The points discussed in this paper are the following: Government spending, deficits, and debt are at record levels. But another important measure of the size of government is the growth of the Federal bureaucracy. While the private sector continues to contract, the government is expanding. Since enactment of the “stimulus” bill, the private economy has lost 2.3 million jobs, while the Federal Government has added 25,000. These Federal jobs are not temporary positions. Even after excluding defens... Read more

  • Updated Budget Estimates Growing Deficits and Debt
    Posted in HBC Publications on August 25, 2009 | Preview rr

    The Office of Management and Budget [OMB] and the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] today released their updated budget and economic forecasts. The bottom line is as follows: Ten-Year Deficits. OMB shows a deficit $1.9 trillion higher over the next 10 years; CBO’s deficit is $1.6 trillion higher. The largest factor in the deficit increase is the economy, with both OMB and CBO showing a weaker recovery in 2010. CBO shows the unemployment rate averaging 10.2 percent in 2010; OMB shows a 9.8- perce... Read more

  • Points to Consider
    Posted in HBC Publications on August 20, 2009 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy / Financial

    The administration’s Mid-Session Review, scheduled for release next Tuesday (25 August 2009), will provide an update of budget and economic projections. Key issues to consider when evaluating the report include the following: The 2009 Deficit. Because spending has been higher, and tax revenue lower, the deficit is rising this year to three times the previous record. But if the administration’s claims of deficit “reduction” appear to defy reality, consider its handling of its $250-billion “placeh... Read more

  • $3.4 Trillion and Counting
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 31, 2009 | Preview rr

    SUMMARY Although health care legislation has been delayed, Congress is still likely to consider, before the end of the year, a bill to create a new $1-trillion health care entitlement and begin the Federal Government’s takeover of the health care sector. But this would only add to the President’s wellestablished pattern of huge increases in spending, taxes, and deficits. In just the first 6 months of his administration, the President has pushed legislation that will boost spending $3.4 trillion ... Read more