Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Media Coverage

Sep 13, 2017|USA Today

What would Sen. Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare-for-All' bill mean for you?

Republicans point to an Urban Institute study indicating that proposal would increase federal expenditures by $32 trillion over 10 years. Another study by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says the campaign proposal would cost $25 trillion and add $16 trillion to the debt (including interest) without additional offsets, putting the national at 148% of GDP in 2027.

Sep 13, 2017|CBS News

What would it mean to erase the debt ceiling?

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, argues that instead of eliminating it, lawmakers can reform the process.

"Eliminating the risk that it's posed to the economy when people have threatened to not lift it is certainly desirable," she told CBS News. "But -- and it's a pretty big but -- getting rid of the one stop on additional borrowing without replacing it with something more sensible seems like as much of an end-run around fiscal responsibility as it doesn't attempt to really fix a problem."

Sep 13, 2017|PBS

Standard Medigap plans are learning some new tricks

From a financial perspective, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget serves a similar “alarm” function about the need to rein in federal deficits. From this perspective, you will see a lot of content about how Social Security deficits need to be reduced, often by reducing benefits.

Sep 12, 2017|The Hill

The debt ceiling is the best bad option we've got right now

There are much better ways of doing things. The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Maya MacGuineas suggests several, including tying debt limit hikes to the budget resolutions that would necessitate them, or reframing the limit in relation to GDP, a much more meaningful number.

Sep 12, 2017|CNN Money

Will retroactive tax cuts help the economy?

"Retroactive tax-cuts are one of the absolute worst tax reforms one can pass," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "They do nothing to change incentives and can have very negative effects if deficit financed. Policymakers should focus on how to offset the cost of the tax cuts they want to enact, not providing tax cuts to incentivize people to do things they have already done."

Sep 12, 2017|Washington Times

Liberals with eye on presidency rush to support Sanders’s ‘Medicare for all’ bill

Implementing a single-payer system nationwide could cost $25 trillion over a decade, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated Tuesday. The independent bipartisan public policy organization was looking at a version Mr. Sanders laid out during the presidential campaign last year. The CRFB said $16 trillion of that cost would be new spending, not offset by higher taxes or cuts elsewhere.

Sep 12, 2017|Washington Examiner

How to fix the debt: High-skilled immigrants, drastic education overhaul, and painful spending cuts

On Tuesday, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB) drew together conservative, liberal, and independent economists and politicians for a conference seeking ideas to increase economic growth and reduce the national debt.

Sep 12, 2017|Bloomberg BNA

Retroactivity May Be Carrot GOP Seeks to Secure Tax Reform Win

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, citing Tax Policy Center numbers, said in a Aug. 16 blog post that the president’s tax cut proposals could cost from $150 billion to $340 billion in the first year. “Avoiding retroactive tax cuts would make the package cheaper and easier to make revenue-neutral,” the CRFB said.

Retroactive tax cuts are inconsistent with the goal of tax reform, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas, told Bloomberg BNA. “Paying people or companies to do things they have already done doesn’t change their behavior one bit,” she said.

MacGuineas said although the 2001 tax cuts under Bush were retroactive, the government at that time was projecting huge surpluses on the horizon.

Sep 11, 2017|The Hill

US federal debt passes $20 trillion for first time

For months, it had been using off-book extraordinary measures to keep from defaulting. Since President Trump signed a bill including the debt-limit lift Friday, it was able to start unwinding those measures with regular borrowing and increase the debt.

But that figure includes $5.5 trillion in intragovernmental debt, which is debt that one part of the government owes another, and does not impact governmental finances the same way, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The total of debt held by the public stands at roughly $14.6 trillion.

Sep 11, 2017|Newsmax

As Trump Raises Ceiling, National Debt Tops $20 Trillion

The new debt figure includes $5.5 trillion in intragovernmental debt, which is debt that one part of the government owes another, and doesn't impact governmental finances the same way, The Hill reported, citing the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The total of debt held by the public stands at roughly $14.6 trillion.

Sep 11, 2017|The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With short term increase, nation’s debt tops $20 trillion for first time

But despite the cry for action, GOP lawmakers have made little headway in agreeing on how to scale back on spending, even as they decry budget deficits which keep sending that debt higher.

“This mark serves as an important reminder of the nation’s unsustainable rising national debt,” said the watchdog group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 11, 2017|Government Executive

Spending Battles Are Likely Still Brewing Despite Bipartisan Agreement on Hurricane Aid

Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said he doesn’t think the hurricanes will “affect the budget outcome, but the timing.” What his group hopes will happen by December is something larger than just “a tiny budget deal to set the cap levels” for sequestration under the 2011 Budget Control Act.

“A mini-bargain, not as large as grand bargain but one that goes further than just this year’s appropriations level by finding a permanent solution to the sequester” would be desirable, he said. A more sustainable deal aligning taxes and spending would set in the budget some rules that “prevent tax reform and other legislation from adding to the debt,” he added, perhaps with “a down payment on deficit reduction with spending restraint, and ideally combined with a further increase in the debt limit and some movement toward entitlement reform and budget process reform.”

Sep 8, 2017|Bloomberg BNA

Agreement Reached on Key Tax Reform Details: White House

After scrapping the border adjustment provision, tax writers must find a way to replace the revenue to offset rate cuts. The one-page plan the White House released in April would cost as much as $5 trillion over 10 years, according to an estimate from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 7, 2017|The Washington Post

Ditching the debt limit is one of Trump’s best ideas yet

So what's the better solution? The Committee for Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), one of the groups working the hardest to get America on better financial footing, has a proposal ready to go on how to fix the debt limit. Its top idea is simple: Force Congress to decide how much debt there will be at the same time that lawmakers set tax and spending rates. In other words, make it all one big budget process, not two like it is now.

Sep 7, 2017|The Washington Post

Ryan offers much different tax rate target than Trump

“Our plan will provide tax relief to businesses of all sizes,” Trump said. “And we will cut the business tax rate as much as possible.  Ideally, we would like to bring our business tax rate down to around 15 percent.  That's a tremendous drop.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has projected that cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent would lead to a loss of $3.7 trillion in revenue over 10 years.

Sep 7, 2017|The Washington Post

The argument for tax reform, not cuts

The United States continues to not be the highest taxed nation in the world, even though President Trump keeps saying otherwise. … Total US tax revenue was 26% of the GDP in 2014 vs. an OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] average of 34.4% and the top share of 50.9% in Denmark, notes the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. (And the top US individual marginal tax rate of 39.5% [is] pretty far from the 52% of leader Netherlands.) Indeed … the US remains a relatively low-tax country overall.

Sep 7, 2017|The Hill

Debt-limit fight could be delayed to 2018

It’s unclear how long the Treasury Department’s measures could put off a debt-ceiling vote.

It was able to use its accounting tricks to push this month’s debt vote off for six months, but there’s no clear estimate for the next go-around.

“Treasury’s cash flow and borrowing needs are very lumpy, rising and falling throughout the year,” said a spokesman for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 6, 2017|The New York Times

Paul Ryan to Speak With The Times on Congress’s Packed Agenda

With so much to do, Republicans could come under pressure to pass a simple tax cut and declare victory. But with other costs mounting and savings hard to find, that too will be a hard sell for a party that preaches fiscal restraint.

“While the president and congressional leaders want to turn focus to tax reform, the issues they have to deal with in September will make that more difficult,” said Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“Not just because the time and attention those issues will require will make it harder to focus on tax reform, but they will make it harder to justify tax cuts which increase the deficit.”

Sep 6, 2017|Teen Vogue

Debt Ceiling, Explained

While the ceiling must be raised to avoid financial crisis, many Americans, especially conservatives, believe that our level of debt is astronomical. They’re not wrong: It’s currently close to $20 trillion.

“We’re borrowing in a way that will shrink the economy from what it otherwise would be, create fewer jobs, and leave your generation with trillions of dollars of debt and unfunded promises,” Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a public policy organization in Washington that addresses federal budget and fiscal issues, tells Teen Vogue.

Sep 6, 2017|The Hill

Trump keeps tax squeeze on red state Democrats

Deficit hawks trolled Trump on Twitter for the claim.

“We are not the highest taxed nation in the world. That is just not true,” tweeted Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 6, 2017|Financial Times

Trump angers top Republicans by forcing through debt deal

Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said it was rare to see a president whose party controlled Congress cut a deal with the opposing group this early in his term, and particularly where the Democrats did not give up anything. “They didn’t have to negotiate or accept anything they didn’t like, like the border wall. It is an easy deal for them,” said Mr Goldwein.

Sep 6, 2017|CNN Money

Trump says the U.S. is the highest taxed country in the world. It's not.

On Wednesday, President Trump twice said the United States is "the highest taxed nation in the world."

No, it's not.

In fact, Trump has made the very same blanket claim at least 18 times before, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 6, 2017|CNBC

Harvey relief and the debt ceiling debate are complicating tax reform

The groups have been instrumental in helping to marshal grass-roots support for the Republican effort to simplify the tax code and lower rates. GOP leadership has argued for a plan that will not reduce federal revenues, but the White House has not committed to a so-called revenue neutral proposal. The one-page tax framework that the administration released this spring is estimated to cost between $3 trillion and $7 trillion over the next decade, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 6, 2017|Politico

North Dakota, here we come

That’s why some people on K Street say they haven’t heard much about it recently, or aren’t all that concerned about its impact. Still: “Ultimately, budget rules like PAYGO can't stop Congress from adding to the debt if that is the will of Congress, but it can make it harder to do so and force Congress to acknowledge it is choosing to increase debt and hold members accountable for that decision,” Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget told Morning Tax.

Sep 6, 2017|CNBC

Trump calls America 'the highest taxed nation in the world'—here's how the US actually compares

You can see this reflected in a chart by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in 2016, which uses slightly different numbers. By their calculations, Denmark comes in at over 50 percent. But the U.S. remains steady at 26 percent, significantly below the average of 34 percent. As such, America is actually "among the lowest-taxed countries in the OECD." The OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has 35 member countries, including the most advanced nations in the world.

Sep 5, 2017|Voice of America

In Harvey's Wake, New Financial Realism Hits White House

As recently as two weeks ago, Trump was touting the idea of closing the government if Congress didn’t allocate money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But in the wake of the most expensive natural disaster ever to hit the United States, the idea of using a government shutdown as leverage suddenly seems absurd.

“That’s what has changed the most,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget. “The chances of a government shutdown have been reduced to near zero.”

Sep 5, 2017|The Fiscal Times

How Some Good Could Come from a Debt Ceiling Crisis

Back in March, Butler, long associated with the Heritage Foundation and now with the Brookings Institution, and Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, co-wrote a paper that argued for the creation of a budgeting process that defines the long-term spending plan for the major entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. The pair called for a 25-year spending plan that would be reviewed and adjusted every four years, following presidential elections. Spending and revenues would be adjusted regularly by a bipartisan commission appointed by Congress.

Aug 31, 2017|Bloomberg

Trump’s Tax-Cut Bid Hits New Obstacle: Hurricane Harvey’s Costs

While his remarks included few specifics, Trump repeated his desire to slash the corporate income tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent. He also called for an unspecified middle class tax cut -- previously, he has sought a doubling of the standard deduction, which would benefit working-class taxpayers. Together, the two provisions would cost an estimated $3.7 trillion in revenue over 10 years, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“Congress shouldn’t be debating a deficit-increasing tax cut because our debt is at record levels,” said Maya MacGuineas, the CRFB’s president.

Also, she said, the need to pay for Hurricane Harvey relief “is a reminder of why it is so important to have our fiscal house in order.”

Aug 31, 2017|Fox Business Network

Will the government shut down amid Hurricane Harvey?

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas on whether the government will shut down after Hurricane Harvey.

Aug 31, 2017|The Washington Post

Sober, reasonable conservatives should oppose unpaid-for tax cuts

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget argues, “It is more important now than ever that tax reform does not add to the debt. This means that every tax cut needs to be replaced with an equivalent offset that ensures that tax reform does not much our unsustainable fiscal situation even worse.” Several of CRFB’s reasons for opposing debt-creating tax legislation deserve consideration.

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