Pentagon Slows Burn Rate As Budget Conflict Looms

By: Tuesday January 22, 2013 6:21 am

The budget battles in Congress have an interesting, if not wholly unexpected casualty, the Defense Department. Due to budget uncertainty DoD has been forced to slow down its notoriously extravagant contracting process: Speaking to soldiers in Vicenza, Italy, last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta explained the Pentagon’s “burn rate” — the speed at which the [...]

Democrats Considering $1 Trillion In Revenues To Balance Cuts

By: Monday January 7, 2013 8:47 am

While Congressional Republicans have claimed tax increases are off the table, Democratic leaders are floating an idea of increasing tax revenues by $1 trillion by closing loopholes and other changes to the tax code. From The Hill: Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later [...]

Testimony Today in Congress About Benghazi Incident

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 9:15 am

Hearings in Congress today pile on the political debate over the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. The hearings come on the heels of the Pickering-Mullen report, which looked at the actions of the State Department and foreign service leading up to the attack, finding serious deficiencies in management and “grossly inadequate” security at [...]

We Don’t Have a Deficit Problem, Cont’d

By: Monday December 17, 2012 6:59 am

Paul Krugman takes aim at something that should have been a major talking point for progressives, even if lawmakers couldn’t touch it, for the last four years. There has been a void in talking about the budget deficit in real terms, in what it’s composed of and what it really means. First of all, to [...]

Administration Issues $60.4 Billion Sandy Relief Request

By: Monday December 10, 2012 7:01 am

Late on Friday, the Administration made a $60.4 billion supplemental appropriation requestfor dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. The request went directly to House Speaker John Boehner. The total is actually a bit higher than estimated. This is a rough sketch of what the Administration plans to use the funds fo.

Austerity Still Taking a Bite Out of Europe

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 8:30 am

While debating how much austerity outside of the magic no-budgetary-impact spending on the Pentagonto enact, the United States could take a lesson from, well, from the rest of the developed world. The relative lack of austerity in the US compared to Britain and the rest of Europe led to better economic performance (and it’s important [...]

Obama to Request $50 Billion for Sandy Relief

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 7:45 am

For a Congress spending every waking minute talking about deficits, they sure know how to spend gobs of money above and beyond requested budgets – as long as it goes to the hands of defense contractors. The Senate version of the defense authorization bill costs $631 billion. This is $17 billion more than the Pentagon asked for. It passed 98-0. It now goes to a conference with the bill passed by the GOP-led House, which costs $3 billion MORE. The White House threatened to veto the bill over the budget overages, which is just adorable.

Boehner’s Counter-Offer: How About the Ryan Budget? Bowles-Simpson? Help Me Out Here!

By: Monday December 3, 2012 2:51 pm

John Boehner delivered a letter to the White House today about the fiscal slope, and I just find it to be weird. He starts off by calling the events of November 6 a “status quo election” where the American people expect a “fair middle ground” on fiscal issues (the fact that House Democrats got more [...]

Contra the Deficit Scolds, We Can Keep Medicare and Medicaid Strong Simply By Keeping Them Intact

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 1:10 pm

This diatribe bestowed upon Rep. Raul Grijalva on CNBC, which has become Fiscal Cliff TV, is really priceless, with the anchor accusing Grijalva of tanking the market because he refuses to cut benefits for poor people and seniors. The means testing angle is really a joke here, too. Medicare is already means-tested. To means-test it [...]

Obama’s Opening Bid: His FY2013 Budget Request

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 6:21 am

The White House released to the Washington Postwhat amounts to an opening bid for fiscal slope/grand bargain talks. It turns out that this is actually just what was in the President’s proposed 2013 budget. But since it does add up to $4 trillion over 10 years, and since everyone’s getting serious about negotiations, we can [...]

The Greatest Debt to Our Children and Grandchildren Is a Climate Debt

By: Friday November 9, 2012 9:15 am

Dean Baker is right: if we’re going to start making policy out of concern for the legacy we will leave to our children and grandchildren, then you have to address the probability that the planet will grow too warm to sustain life in vast areas of the map. Certainly that counts as an urgent priority [...]

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