Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Media Coverage

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.

Aug 31, 2017|The Fiscal Times

The $500 Billion Question at the Heart of the Tax Cut Debate

Groups opposed to big tax cuts are pushing for the current law baseline. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities decries the current policy approach as an “arcane maneuver” that “hides $439 billion in tax cuts worth at least $40,000 a year for the top 0.1 percent.” But it’s not just liberal groups that are opposed to the current policy standard. Deficit hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget are also speaking out against it, saying it would allow deficits to rise by $462 billion more than a current law baseline: “Using a current policy baseline disguises a half-trillion dollar tax cut as ‘paid for’ even though deficits would increase.”

Aug 30, 2017|The Washington Post

Republicans slip into a ‘predictable spiral’

If the red ink rises according to worst-case forecasts, “we’re talking additions to the debt in the trillions,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, tells me. All from actions to be taken in the next few months. “It turns out the Republican-run Congress is not willing to make the hard choices,” she says. “It is a fiscal free-lunch mentality on all sides.”

Aug 30, 2017|NPR

FACT CHECK: 4 Claims From Trump's Tax Speech

And that leads to a more important point here: Many economists believe that sustained 3 percent growth, like Trump says he can help create, is unlikely. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget earlier this year tried to game out how that kind of GDP growth could happen. Its outlook was not rosy.

"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. And getting to those levels, they added, would be "an unlikely scenario given recent trends."

In other words, while Trump is celebrating this one quarter of growth, seeing it quarter after quarter after quarter would be a surprise.

Aug 30, 2017|Newsday

President Trump puts onus on Congress to overhaul tax code

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas commended Trump’s focus on a fairer and simpler tax code, but said, “Offsetting the cost of tax reform is the central ingredient in creating reform that grows the economy without exploding the debt.”

Aug 29, 2017|McClatchy DC

Harvey could be Ted Cruz’s time to shine. So far he hasn’t

Maya MacGuineas, president of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates for bills where projects are paid for, said the idea of finding offsets for emergency spending would be difficult.

MacGuineas said that if leaders like Cruz wanted the bill paid for, they should get in front of the conversation and suggest ways to pay for it.

Aug 25, 2017|The Washington Post

Shutdown update: Experts say it’s more likely than not to happen

Overlay Trump's potential intransigence on a Republican Party that has long brought itself to the brink of a shutdown, and you have more factors leading to a shutdown than at any time since, well, the last one.

“It's completely unpredictable,” said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget. “A negotiation that one could have seen the outlines for the resolution just got a mini bomb tossed into it.”

Aug 24, 2017|Bloomberg BNA

OMB Sequester Report Shows Few Good Options for Lawmakers

Ed Lorenzen, senior adviser for the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the OMB report shows how difficult it will be for lawmakers to comply with the 2018 Budget Control Act caps of $549.1 billion for defense spending and $515.7 billion for non-defense.

“Complying with the non-defense discretionary caps for fiscal year 2018 will be harder than is generally understood,” he said.

Aug 23, 2017|Morning Consult

Medicare Is in Deep Trouble: Here’s How to Rescue It

This idea has attracted bipartisan support in the past. Indeed, three decades ago, a group of congressmen from both sides of the aisle proposed the concept — but were one vote short of being able to make a recommendation to Congress. The Bipartisan Policy Center and Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have also voiced support for a voucher system.

Aug 23, 2017|Snopes

Has the Secret Service Gone 'Broke' Paying Agents to Protect the Trump Family?

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget – a nonpartisan think tank focused on fiscal and budgetary policy – gave its assessment in a statement reading: