The cost projections for Medicare programs outlined in the 2013 Trustees’ Report rely on unrealistic assumptions regarding current laws (e.g., Affordable Care Act and Medicare physician fee payments), cost-savings, and higher revenue. There is little reason to expect these cost-reduction aspects of the law to materialize.
With the European Commission’s recent calls to abandon austerity in favor of economic growth, IMF director Christine Lagarde urging easing of austerity in Europe, and Paul Krugman proclaiming austerity’s failure, the debate surrounding austerity remains vital.
The recent release of budget plans for fiscal year 2014 makes a proper perspective of projections of public debt even more important. This week’s chart shows the debt held by the public as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) under various budget proposals.
Unsurprisingly, the slow recovery has been particularly hard on families. New data released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 8.4 million families had at least one unemployed member. That makes the family unemployment rate 10.5 percent, well above the average national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in 2012. Some 20 percent of families had no one working in 2012, a number that includes both the unemployed and looking for work and the jobless and not looking for work. The statistics are grim when we look at families with children under 18 years old, where 12.2 percent have no one working.
Since 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) provided guaranteed loans through its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program valued at approximately $8.4 billion to Ford, Nissan, Fisker Automotive, and other car manufacturers. The DOE touted the ATVM loan program as a tool for boosting America’s “clean energy economy” by adding nearly 38,700 jobs. Far less attention was paid to how the loan commitments exposed taxpayers to excessive risk, to the tune of about $217,028 per job “created or saved.”…
This chart highlights the increasing share of the budget consumed by mandatory spending using projected spending estimates from the president’s FY 2014 budget and historical data from the Office of Management and Budget. The mandatory share (red portions) of the budget entitlement programs and interest costs expands at the expense of the discretionary portion of the budget (which is for spending on things like defense and infrastructure).
With the recent release of President Obama’s FY 2014 budget, it is important to put the budget numbers from the various proposals into proper perspective. These charts compare the patterns of future spending projections from the Senate Democratic budget by Chairman Patty Murray, House Republican budget by Chairman Paul Ryan, Senator Rand Paul’s budget, and the president’s budget.
The nation's economy at mid-year is operating like a three-lane expressway with one lane closed. GDP growth is breaking 2.0% when it should be 3.0%. But worse than that, the cars moving in the two open lanes are running on borrowed fuel that will someday have to be paid back.
The Mercatus Center’s clear-headed research is shaping the conversation on government spending, fiscal austerity, and financial market regulation. Come hear what the former New Zealand cabinet minister would do in this country to promote economic growth and fiscal responsibility.
"It [an incentive program geared toward a specific company] tends to undermine competition and lead to monopolistic behavior, so that means higher prices for consumers, potentially higher profits for producers,"
Like most academic economists, Mr. Cowen focuses on the next quarter-century rather than the next quarter. But new technologies like artificial intelligence and online education, increased domestic energy production and slowing growth in the cost of health care have prompted Mr. Cowen to reappraise the country’s prospects.