Economy & Budget

An analysis of Ryan's budget

Today, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, released his FY 2012 budget proposal. Overall, his budget would reduce debt to 67.5 percent of GDP by 2021 and would save approximately the same amount as what the White House Fiscal Commission proposed. The budget would reduce projected deficits by over $1.6 trillion compared to CBO's current law projections and by $4.4 trillion when compared to CBO's score of the President's budget. 

In particular, Ryan's budget proposes steep non-security discretionary spending cuts along with substantial reductions in federal health spending, including block-granting Medicaid, repealing the coverage provisions from the health care reform law, and reforming Medicare by introducing a "defined contribution" program. He also proposes significant cuts to other mandatory programs, overhauling the tax system, putting in place a mechanism for requiring a fix for Social Security, and budget process reforms. 


The reckless Republican proposal

If you thought H.R. 1 was bad, you won’t believe what the Republicans have in store for 2012 and the next 10 years.

The budget the Republicans unveiled today is one of the most callous and reckless proposals I’ve seen during 18 years in Congress.

At every turn, the Republicans seek to protect the powerful while giving the back of their hand to the most vulnerable Americans.


Don't blame Social Security

On Monday, I was honored to join my colleagues Senators Reid, Sanders, Franken and Blumenthal at a rally with more than 300 supporters of Social Security. As Republicans have again begun to talk about dismantling Social Security, these Americans felt it was important to come to the Capitol and make their voices heard.


Investigate the US Chamber, not AARP

As the nation’s largest senior-advocacy organization, the AARP, is hauled up to the GOP-controlled Ways and Means committee for their role in supporting the Affordable Care Act, we’re left wondering why some other groups – say, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — aren’t being investigated for their own roles. 

It was the Chamber, of course, that received a massive $86 million check from big insurance companies to kill reform in the name of protecting profits. (More on that below.) And it’s the Chamber, not the AARP or any other organization, that’s gotten in extremely hot water recently for a scheme by its lawyers to spy on and destroy its critics through illegal means, to unlawfully transfer millions of charitable dollars into their political coffers, and to allow Chamber President Tom Donohue to receive such excessive compensation, it may itself be illegal.


Why credit access is critical to the economic recovery

Most Americans understand that small businesses – not massive corporations – generate most new U.S. jobs. And when these enterprises hurt, they likewise lose jobs in similar proportions.

As influential financial analyst Meredith Whitney observed last May, "Small businesses created 64 percent of new jobs over the past 15 years, but they have cut five million jobs since the onset of this credit crisis. Large businesses, by comparison, have shed three million jobs in the past two years." 


Getting financial reform right

A Google search of Dodd-Frank this morning turned up more than 7 million hits. That’s probably equal to the number of opinions in Washington and on Wall Street about what’s right, wrong, good and bad with the bill. For all these different opinions, however, there seems to be consensus emerging when it comes to implementing the law -- it’s better to get it right than to do it fast.   

That was certainly the shared view of the 140+ people who attended a forum DTCC hosted this week, in conjunction with Managed Funds Association (MFA) and Institutional Investors, on the safety and liquidity of the swaps markets from the perspective of corporate end-users and buy-side firms.


Budget cuts are nothing to laugh about

Good news! Congress finally does what U.S. voters say they want and dedicates 13 percent of the federal budget to life-saving international poverty-fighting assistance.

April Fools!

As the current budget drama gripping Washington continues, foreign aid remains on the chopping block. 


March to stop the freeloaders

The nation’s greedy corporations and insatiable wealthy are fattening themselves on workers. There’s no trickle down. It’s the opposite; the rich have been sucking the economic lifeblood from the middle class for decades.

When reckless Wall Street banksters get taxpayer-funded bailouts, billionaires get tax breaks and gigantic corporations like GE and Bank of America pay absolutely no federal income taxes, they’re getting for free the very public services that enable them to make massive profits in this country – the courts, the roads, the trade regulators, the patent enforcement.