Recognizing the precarious plight of the nation’s fiscal situation, newly installed House Speaker Mike Johnson has called for a bi-partisan commission to study the nation’s debt. Everyone involved in federal fiscal policy for a length of time surely responded with some variation on, “Good grief, Charlie Brown.” Congress has formed and ignored innumerable such groups over many decades.Read More
Another game of shutdown chicken ended last weekend with the status quo and the ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) says its time to end the senseless — and costly — practice of shutdown politics.Read More
On Monday, the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) struck a blow in the fight for fiscal displume. In a 431-word statement, the conservative House Republicans put Official Washington on notice that when Congress returned in September and took up the seemingly annual short-term spending bill known as a “Continuing Resolution,” the HFC would not vote to fund business as usual. Instead, HFC members would only support a short-term spending bill to keep the government open if it also included several of their key policy priorities – policy priorities that would represent significant shifts in key areas of government policy.Read More
The U.S. Senate on Thursday evening passed a compromise deal to suspend the debt ceiling until after the presidential election while capping the rate of spending growth in subsequent years.Read More
The House of Representatives on Wednesday evening passed a bipartisan deal to suspend the debt ceiling and cut spending ahead of a June 5 deadline to avert a national default.Read More
The GOP-led House is expected to vote Wednesday on the legislation resulting from a compromise between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden on the debt limit.Read More
There’s enough revenue to pay interest on the debt even if the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling is reached.
Meaning, if the U.S. defaults on the debt on June 1, it will be because President Joe Biden chose not to make principal and interest payments on U.S. Treasuries out of existing revenue, for which there is more than ample revenues to service and refinance up to the current debt ceiling limit, $31.4 trillion.Read More
A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to use the state’s Rainy Day Fund to pay down the state’s unfunded pension liabilities that total more than $60 billion.
State Representative Joe Ciresi (D-Royersford) is asking colleagues to cosponsor a bill to move $670 million from the fund to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and $330 million to the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS). A memorandum describing his legislation avers it could save local real-estate taxpayers $2.1 billion over the next 20 years.Read More
Gross interest owed on the $31.4 trillion national debt — that is, interest owed on both the $24.9 trillion publicly traded debt and the $6.7 trillion debt in the Social Security, Medicare and other trust funds — will reach a gargantuan $1 trillion in 2024 for the first time in American history, according to the latest data gathered by the White House Office of Management and budget.
To put that into perspective, that is more than is spent on national defense related spending, currently $814 billion.Read More
Pennsylvania’s official fiscal watchdog this week told state senators that the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund contains less money than many experts recommend — and that’s before Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro’s long-term fiscal plan burns through it.
The state Treasury currently keeps $5.7 billion in the Rainy Day Fund to help public institutions endure revenue losses resulting from economic downturns. According the the department’s own calculations, current reserves in this account could sustain General Fund expenditures for just under 43 days.Read More
The gridlock that paralyzed House Republicans over the past week in their quest to elect a new Speaker could be a foretaste of more to come, with party moderates and conservatives set to tangle in the months to come over raising the debt ceiling and reining in reckless government spending.
Although newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy ultimately prevailed in his bid for the office over a small but determined band of House Freedom Caucus members, his slim GOP majority in the House will be vulnerable if and when conservatives rebel again down the road, as some are predicting, in an effort to reassert debt reduction as a top priority for the party.Read More
The dust has barely settled from the contentious midterms, and the battle lines are already being drawn for the next legislative fight in Washington: the debt ceiling. With the nation at unprecedented levels of indebtedness, the choice in this fight is a stark one: a path toward stability or fiscal Armageddon.
If that sounds hyperbolic, consider the following facts about America’s finances.Read More