Fiscal Policy

Skinny Budget, Heavy Lift?

Update 522 — Skinny Budget, Heavy Lift?President Outlines FY2022 Spending Plans Last Friday, the Biden administration released its “skinny budget,” the initial framework for its FY2022 discretionary funding request. Although not elaborate, the $1.52 trillion budget gives us the first clear glimpse into President Biden’s priorities.  The administration calls for increased spending levels across the …

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Powell Faces Fiscal, Macro Policy Potpourri

Update 516 — Support for Recovery (Act)?Powell Faces Fiscal, Macro Policy Potpourri Federal Reserve Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen both appeared before the House Financial Services (HFSC) yesterday and Senate Banking today. The main takeaway from them: the economic recovery needs additional federal support.  The ARP will boost the economy and the Fed projects …

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The Politics of the Minimum Wage Hike

Update 507 — Don’t Improvise, FiscalizeThe Politics of the Minimum Wage Hike A long-awaited, much-debated provision in President Biden’s stimulus package, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour after a decade of stasis, has emerged as a sticking point in negotiations in Congress. Last week, the House Education and Labor Committee successfully inserted the provision in …

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The Paycheck Recovery Act

Update 453 — The Paycheck Recovery Act:Nobel Economist Endorses in Bill Hearing A star performance yesterday by economic Nobel laureate Prof. Joseph Stiglitz at a critical bill hearing in an obscure House Financial Services Subcommittee reignited interest in an alternative to the nation’s current COVID economic policy course of response. The bill, H.R. 6918, the …

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PPP Poked, Probed, Prodded

Update 446 — PPP Poked, Probed, Prodded:How Many Paychecks Have Been Protected? The administration’s $700 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) represents the only federal effort to protect wages threatened by the Corona crisis. Congress enacted some tweaks to PPP last week that will save some small businesses but protect fewer paychecks. PPP can help some …

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COVID Response in Congress

Update 421 — COVID Response in Congress Stimulus: What Works, How Much is Enough? The President’s churlish, sententious address to the nation on Wednesday night regarding his efforts to combat and contain the COVID-19 crisis inspired little confidence and precipitated the worst one-day drop in the capital markets in 33 years on Thursday.  Democrats in Congress …

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Trump’s Trillion Dollar Legacy

Update 410 — Trump’s Trillion Dollar Legacy 10-Year Cost in Interest Expense: $5.9 Trillion Whether many Americans will feel indebted to Donald Trump for his policies is TBD. Per this week’s CBO report on the nation’s fiscal future, though, all Americans will be indebted by him.  A look at the fiscal legacy of the Trump administration, …

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Silver Lining on the Horizon

Update 391 — Silver Lining on the Horizon(How) Do Automatic Stabilizers Really Work? Economists now speak of the next recession in terms of when, not whether.  As the recession approaches ever closer, so too do increases in fiscal stimulus known as  “automatic stabilizers,” such as unemployment insurance, representing a silver lining.  How do these triggers …

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FY 2020: Budgeting by Default

Update 386 — FY 2020: Budgeting by DefaultHas “Fiscal Policy” Become an Oxymoron?The Federal budget-making process could fairly be described as broken. If it can fairly be described as a process at all. There’s the law — the statutory deadlines, constantly being waived or disregarded by Congress.  Then there’s practice — some assortment of appropriations …

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Ends Meet in Budget Agreement

Update 371: Ends Meet in Budget Agreement;Further Fiscal Hostilities Postponed ‘til 2021 Like a thunderclap on a sunny day, a budget agreement has appeared almost from nowhere to remove us from threat of a government shutdown or sovereign default this fall.  A compromise between the House and the White House, the deal bears signal progressive …

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