Good News Coming On The Deficit. Well, Sort Of.

Syriza party leader Alexis  Tsipras hopes to prevail in today's Greek elections, which could mark a turning point in his nation's struggle against a crushing load of debt. Meanwhile, U.S. government deficits are improving. Sort of.

Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras hopes to prevail in today’s Greek elections, which could provoke a showdown between European leaders and Greece, which struggles under a crushing load of debt. Meanwhile, U.S. government deficits are improving. Sort of. [Credit: BBC]

On Tuesday morning, the Congressional Budget Office will announce that the federal deficit continued to decline last year.

The announcement will trigger an orgy of self-congratulation in Washington.  The Administration will claim that its policies have been vindicated.  Republicans also will take a bow, touting spending constraints they’ve imposed since winning the House majority.

But you’ll hear nothing from the Washingtonians who most deserve credit for reduced deficits: the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  By holding interest rates near zero and lending trillions in free money to the Treasury, the Fed has allowed the government to reduce deficits even as it gorged on debt. Continue reading

Could A Wealth Tax Solve the Problem of Government Debt?

A recent IMF report suggests that this man's enormous wealth might help resolve the government's debt problem. [Credit: NY Post]

A recent IMF report suggests that this man’s enormous wealth might help resolve the government’s debt problem. [Credit: NY Post]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reported that European governments could reduce their debt back to pre-Great Recession levels by confiscating 10 percent of the wealth held by their richest citizens. IMF isn’t recommending that, of course.

They’re just sayin’. Continue reading

Republicans Should Join Democrats in Impeding Obamacare Implementation

Media reports indicate that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are nearing an agreement on temporarily funding the government and increasing its borrowing authority.  [Credit: Huffington Post]

Media reports indicate that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are nearing an agreement on temporarily funding the government and increasing its borrowing authority. [Credit: Huffington Post]

October 14, 2013, 7:15 am

Senate leaders are reportedly closing in on a deal that would both fund the government and restore its borrowing authority for a few months. The deal reportedly contains two changes to the health care law, one proposed by Republicans, the other by Democrats. The provision backed by Republicans is politically misguided, unworkable and would do little to impede the law’s implementation; the provision backed by Democrats, by contrast, appears to complicate implementation of a law whose launch has so far not gone smoothly. Republicans who oppose Obamacare should join Democrats in seeking changes that would damage its implementation. Continue reading