This chart shows the average monthly enrollment for three major antipoverty programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Medicaid.
The Senate Democratic and House Republican budget proposals are scheduled for consideration; the former drafted by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray, and the latter by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan. The following charts compare and contrast key aspects of the Ryan and Murray plans. The charts use data from the Senate Democratic and House Republican FY 2014 budgets and the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent Budget and Economic Outlook.
The following charts use data from the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global competitiveness report to show how the United States measures up against the rest of the world. The global competitiveness index examines multiple factors, including a country’s political institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, financial markets, and innovation.
Mercatus Center senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy outlines the shortcomings of the Ryan Plan here. These charts examine how the Ryan Plan measures up to the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent budget outlook for FY 2013 to FY 2023.
Since CBO’s projected debt and deficit figures are contingent on other economic indicators like GDP, examining the assumptions underlying these figures is critical. Under a more realistic assumption of GDP growth, actual debt in 2023 might be even higher than the 77 percent of GDP projected in the CBO’s baseline scenario.
These two charts by Mercatus Center senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy examine the impact of sequester cuts on the defense budget. The figures in both charts represent defense budget authority, that is, departments’ and agencies’ legal authority to spend. This metric is distinct from budget outlays, which represent actual spending amounts.
While the sequester is widely advertised as cutting spending over a ten year period, there is no actual reduction in overall spending levels. Rather, the sequester slows the overall growth in spending slightly between 2013 and 2023, with spending increasing by $2.40 trillion during that time period. Spending grows 51 percent, or $1.81 trillion, with sequestration between 2013 and 2021, the period when automatic spending procedures are to be enforced.
If current law remains unchanged, the CBO estimates that revenues in 2013 will equal $2.7 trillion or 16.9 percent of GDP—up from 15.8 percent of GDP in 2012 and the highest percentage of GDP estimate since 2008. Tax collection is projected to double from its 2012 levels to reach $4,961 billion by 2023. This is overly optimistic.
Government debt is projected to reach 90 percent of the US gross domestic product by 2022, if not sooner. Economists have identified that level of debt as counterproductive, yet this sad state of affairs is the result of an increasing and bipartisan propensity to spend. During the past 30 years a worrying trend has emerged: high levels of spending under Republican administrations have become institutionalized in Democratic ones.
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.