Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

CBO Scores Social Security Policy Options

by Bruce WebbFollowing up on the publication of CBO’s Long Term Budget Outlook (see previous two of my posts) CBO yesterday published Social Security Policy Options (Summary for Web) and Social Security Policy Options (Full 51 pg PDF) scoring various revenue and spending cut measures that have been proposed for Social Security. The included Table […]

CBO Releases Long Term Budget Outlook

by Bruce Webb CBO Director’s Blog summary of Long Term Budget Outlook (Interesting side comment: “Later this week, CBO will release a report on a number of different policy options for changing Social Security”). Elmendorf, not surprising given his history and current job, is fully on the side of the deficit hawk/hysterics. Report text (1.2MB […]


In Linda’s post on the budget deficit in the comments it was claimed that the budget deficit was Obama’s fault and a chart was cited that showed the deficit in someone’s estimate of real dollars. The standard way of comparing deficits across time and across different countries is to show the deficit — past and […]

O.K., let’s just think about this budget thing for a while, Part I

To be sure, the U.S. government deficit is shocking; but it’s not anymore shocking than the recession through which we have all lived. Tax receipts plummeted (see the second chart from this post) and spending on cyclical social programs (like unemployment benefits) is surging. This adds up to an exponentially rising budget deficit, and thus […]

Can Nobody Play this Game Correctly?

CBO: At 9.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), that deficit would be slightly smaller than the shortfall of 9.9 percent of GDP ($1.4 trillion) posted in 2009. [emphasis mine] A 7.1% decline in real GDP terms isn’t just “slightly smaller”; it’s a real improvement that is greater than any (mythical or not) “spending freeze” […]

CBO Scores Boehner Amendment to HR3962

by Bruce Webb Last evening the CBO Director Blog announced the release of a score of the Boehner amendment: A Preliminary Analysis of a Substitute Amendment to H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The results are not impressive: (as always click to enlarge)The amendment is scored at reducing the deficit by $68 […]

President’s Proposals would Produce Lower Deficits than Continuing Current Policies

by Bruce Webb That is the subtitle of the new Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) analysis of the Aug 25th CBO and OMB Reports on projected budget deficits that is being injected into the health care debate as a reason for non-action. The CBPP analysis can be read here: New OMB and CBO […]

Mankiw quotes CBO on medical Spending

hby Spencer On Monday Greg Mankiw quoted a CBO study on health care spending. An Ounce of Prevention …is expensive, says CBO:the evidence suggests that for most preventive services,expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall. That was the end of his quote from the study. He did not quote the part of […]

HR3200 Sec 116: Golden Bullet? or Smoking Gun?

by Bruce Webb On Sunday the CBO released a letter addressed to Rep. Dave Camp, the Ranking Member on Ways and Means, which among other things measured the impact of HR3200 (the House Tri-Committee Health Care Affordability bill) and a public option on employer covered insurance. On net it turns out that they project more […]