Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Media Coverage

Jul 18, 2017|The Washington Post

Republicans’ health-care split goes all the way to the party’s soul

“We’re seeing the challenges of moving from political points to governing,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that has pushed for deficit reduction. “And where that is really most challenging is finding spending cuts that back up the notion of small government.”

Jul 18, 2017|The New York Times

New G.O.P. Battle Begins as Republicans Look to Pass a Budget

“That’s a long way from talk about a large deficit-increasing tax cut,” said Ed Lorenzen, of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group committed to educating the public on fiscal issues. “I’m very curious to see how the White House and conservatives who have been advocating for a tax cut react to this.”

Jul 14, 2017|Fox Business Network

GOP bill to slash growth rate in Medicaid spending

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya Macguineas weighs in on cuts to Medicaid spending in revised Senate GOP bill.

Jul 20, 2017|The Washington Post

The Finance 202: Big budget problems stand in way of tax overhaul

If Republicans choose to pursue it, there’s an open debate about whether the instructions would expire with the fiscal year, at the end of September, or if they’d remain in force indefinitely, as long as lawmakers don’t pass a new budget resolution to replace the old one. The distinction matters because Republicans are highly unlikely to finish work on a tax package by the end of September. 

“It is uncharted and untested territory,” said Ed Lorenzen, a former House Democratic budget aide now with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. 

Jul 19, 2017|The Washington Post

Paul Ryan just made Trump’s agenda a lot harder to pass

On Tuesday morning, House Republicans unveiled their 2018 budget. It didn't get much attention amid the fallout over the Senate's Obamacare repeal failure. But the House GOP had a clear message to Trump: If you want tax cuts, you have to find a way to pay for them.

“They are drawing the line against tax reform that increases the deficit,” says budget expert Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Jul 19, 2017|NPR

Here's What's In The House Republican Budget (And Why It Matters)

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget generally lauded the budget's belt-tightening, but called this growth target "unrealistic."

"Economic growth should not be used to paper-over our dire fiscal picture," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the nonpartisan D.C.-based think tank, in a statement. "You base budgets off the likely, not the hopeful."

Jul 19, 2017|Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Social Security is running out of money and time

Someone who is 50 years old would reach normal retirement age (67 for those born after 1959) the year the fund is scheduled to run dry. People in the workforce and their employers would continue to contribute to the fund via payroll taxes. But barring action between now and then to reduce costs or increase revenue, retirees would face a reduction of "about $5,800 per year in today's dollars for a typical beneficiary reaching the full retirement age in 2033," according to the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Jul 18, 2017|Bloomberg

House GOP Budget Ignores Trump’s Budget Cuts to Domestic Agencies

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said it makes sense to focus on so-called “mandatory” programs like entitlements -- while ignoring Trump’s call to cut "discretionary" funds for programs like Head Start and cancer research -- because the entitlement programs are larger and are growing faster.

"In many ways, Trump’s budget request missed the mark both on what needs to happen and what can happen. The discretionary cuts are not going to fix our budget problem and they are not going to materialize because there isn’t the will to make them," she said.

Jul 18, 2017|MarketWatch

Tax reform’s scope to be limited by House budget bill

“The biggest thing that stands out is that it requires tax reform to be revenue neutral current to law,” said Ed Lorenzen, senior adviser to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

As the text introducing the bill says: “The resolution also instructs the Ways & Means Committee to produce deficit-neutral tax-reform legislation that will reduce tax rates and simplify the tax code to boost economic growth.”

That will require “some combination of making really tough choices on offsets, or scaling back ambitions on cuts,” Lorenzen said.

Jul 18, 2017|MarketWatch

Here are the costs of repealing but not replacing Obamacare

Earlier this year, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that repealing the Affordable Care Act in its entirety would boost the budget deficit by about $350 billion through 2027. That just about matches a Congressional Budget Office report from June 2015, which projected that repealing President Barack Obama’s landmark health law would cost $353 billion over 10 years.

Jul 18, 2017|The Washington Times

House Republican budget proposal paves way for tax reform, another intraparty battle

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the proposal is not perfect but praised Republicans for pushing toward a balanced budget.

“We are pleased and relieved that the budget prohibits deficit-financed tax cuts and provides for a down payment in real deficit reduction,” Ms. MacGuineas said. “This is a hopeful sign that Congress recognizes the risks of growing budget deficits and that tax reform is not being used as a veil for tax cuts that add to the debt.”

Jul 18, 2017|The Hill

How the GOP would cut $203B in mandatory spending

The Hill asked Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and head of policy at the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), for some thoughts as to how the committees might achieve the cuts listed below, which come directly from the GOP budget proposal.

Here is the breakdown:

Jul 18, 2017|PBS

Can Trump improve his record-low approval rating?

The White House’s proposed budget, which was released earlier this year, projected that the economy would grow at an annual rate of three percent over the next decade.

Most economists do not share that view; the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated in a March report that the economy would grow by 1.9 percent annually over the next 10 years.

Jul 17, 2017|National Review

The End of the Grand Bargain

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Clinton’s plans would have increased the debt by $200 billion over the next decade, and Trump’s by $5.3 trillion. Neither candidate mentioned the debt on the campaign trail, and the issue never came up in debates.

Jul 14, 2017|NBC News

GOP Weighs Nearly Unprecedented Move to Pass Health Care Bill

Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said swapping out scoring for only parts of the bill for an HHS version would create “serious practical difficulties” even if it were technically allowed. HHS might disagree with the CBO about the impact of the underlying bill, for example, making its analysis of the Cruz amendment alone difficult to reconcile.

Jul 14, 2017|NPR

Why 'MAGAnomics' Isn't Likely To Work

And there are significant economic factors holding the U.S. back from that kind of growth. The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget illustrated this in a May report. In order to get to near 3-percent growth, major factors that contribute to growth would have to bounce back to the booming levels of a quarter century ago. 

"By our estimates, returning capital growth, productivity growth, and prime-age labor force participation to where they were in the 1990s would result in 2.9-percent growth," they wrote, adding that that's "an unlikely scenario given recent trends."

Jul 14, 2017|The Hill

Debt group hits Trump on Social Security

President Trump’s promise not to touch Social Security is “backwards,” according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a group that promotes deficit reduction. 

In a Time magazine op-ed, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas wrote that the president’s approach to the depleting Social Security trust fund — eliminating fraud and abuse and relying on faster economic growth — would not solve the problem.

“Totally eliminating all improper Social Security payments would buy the trust fund only about four months of solvency—less than a rounding error. Meanwhile, higher economic growth would simply mean delaying the program’s shortfalls rather than solving them, since higher growth translates into higher benefits,” she wrote.

Jul 14, 2017|Yahoo! Finance

Social Security on track for 'large, abrupt' cuts in 17 years unless Congress acts

As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group dedicated to balancing the budget, noted in a paper on Friday, the cuts would be “large” and  “abrupt” and growing from 23% in 2034 to 27% in 2091. The late-century date may prove reassuring to some, but a 23% cut takes the average Social Security benefit payout from around $1,400 to $1,080. This would be a significant blow.

Jul 14, 2017|The Washington Free Beacon

Social Security Trust Funds to Be Depleted in 17 Years

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget suggests policymakers phase in gradual changes that would allow for more time to plan but also promote long-term economic growth.

"The Social Security Trustees continue to underscore the need to address Social Security’s financing shortfall soon," the committee said. "Failure to act would result in all beneficiaries receiving a 23 percent across-the-board benefit cut when the combined trust fund exhausts in just 17 years, when today's 50-year-olds reach the normal retirement age. The SSDI program faces an even more immediate deadline and will deplete its trust fund in 2028."

"Policymakers can still address Social Security's financial problem without making drastic tax or benefit changes, but the window for responsible action is closing," the committee said. "If policymakers are willing to act soon, they can create a plan that strengthens the program’s finances while phasing in changes gradually to give workers time to plan, improving retirement security for vulnerable beneficiaries and promoting long-term economic growth."

Jul 14, 2017|BuzzFeed News

Slashing Immigration Makes Trump's Growth Promises Harder To Achieve

"Of all the policies where we looked at growth effects, probably the biggest single driver of growth right now would be immigration," Maya MacGuineas, the president of the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told BuzzFeed News. "If you’re trying to cobble together a growth plan...immigration has a lot of appeal."

Jul 14, 2017|Newsmax

Debt Group Slams Trump's 'Backwards' Social Security Policy

"The built up reserves of the trust funds are projected to run out by 2034, at which time payments to recipients will be limited to whatever is collected in taxes That amounts to a 23 percent cut for every recipient no matter age or need," wrote Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in an op-en for Time magazine.

Jul 13, 2017|The Fiscal Times

Why Trump’s Tax Cut Would Be a Tough Sell to the Poor and Middle Class

But critics insist that the administration is double-counting their projected savings. And the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a prominent government watchdog, has estimated that Trump’s plan to slash corporate and individual tax rates would cost the federal government about $5.5 trillion over ten years.

Jul 13, 2017|The New York Times

Congressional Budget Office Casts Doubt on Trump Spending Plan

“C.B.O.’s analysis shows the president’s claim of a balanced budget is built on a house of cards, reinforced by economic growth rates that are far outside of the mainstream consensus and would be unprecedented given today’s demographic realities,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan advocacy organization.

Jul 13, 2017|USA Today

CBO rejects Trump's claim that budget plan would eliminate deficit

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan, non-profit group, said the CBO report makes it clear just how hard it is to fix the debt without addressing the growth of Social Security and Medicare, the nation’s two largest spending programs.

“CBO’s analysis shows the president’s claim of a balanced budget is built on a house of cards, reinforced by economic growth rates that are far outside of the mainstream consensus and would be unprecedented given today’s demographic realities,” said Maya MacGuineas, the group’s president.

Jul 13, 2017|The Washington Times

Trump’s budget cuts deficits, but never reaches balance: CBO

Maya MacGuineas, president of the watchdog group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said it wasn’t surprising that Mr. Trump’s budget fell short of balance. She said it’s going to be hard to tackle debt while refusing to touch two of the biggest causes of exploding deficits — Social Security and Medicare.

“As much as we would like to fix the debt with a wave of a magic wand, it is just not that simple,” she said. “Righting our fiscal ship will require tough choices, especially when it comes to taxes and entitlement spending. The president’s budget, unfortunately, has yet to confront those choices.”

Jul 13, 2017|CNN Money

Social Security trust fund projected to tap out in 17 years

"Social Security insolvency is no longer a problem only for future generations — without action, current workers and even current retirees will face a 23% across the board cut in just 17 years," said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "That is when today's 50-year-olds reach the normal retirement age and today's youngest retirees turn 79."

Jul 13, 2017|Vox

CBO: Trump plan won’t balance the budget even with his fake revenue-neutral tax reform

Unfortunately, as an excellent report released earlier this year by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shows, it’s much less plausible than it sounds.

Their exercise lets you assume that productivity growth, labor force participation, and growth of capital (machines and business equipment) all return to 1990s levels and shows that even under that rosy scenario, growth doesn’t quite reach 3 percent.

Jul 12, 2017|The Hill

Study: Trump budget would increase debt

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would increase the nation’s debt burden, according to a study by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) — far from the administration's stated goals of cutting the national debt and balancing the budget.

Jul 12, 2017|The Daily Caller

FACT CHECK: Pelosi Claims Obamacare Responsible For Slower Health Care Cost Growth

Marc Goldwein, senior policy director for the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, believes the ACA probably slowed Medicare cost growth, but was not the predominant driver of the economy-wide slowdown.

“I think it’s a huge overstatement, people who are pretending that Obamacare is really the driver of the slowdown,” Goldwein told TheDCNF. “I think there is some evidence to suggest that it might be one of the factors.”

Jul 7, 2017|RealClearMarkets

Republicans Are Victims of a Discredited Economic Ideology

If the problem is a government that has grown too big, the solution might be to tackle the major drivers of that growth. Those drivers are benefits, especially health benefits, for our rapidly growing senior population, and interest on the debt. The Committee for A Responsible Federal Budget along with several distinguished budget commissions (Simpson-Bowles and Domenenci-Rivlin) have long argued for such an approach. But it would not include more tax cuts for the rich.

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