David Lerman

Kudlow to Democrats: If You Win, Forget About Raising Taxes
Trump’s top economic adviser says projected robust growth will bring down deficit

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser warned Democrats Thursday that he would fight any tax increase to reduce the deficit if they take control of the House in the midterm elections next Tuesday.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said tax increases won’t be needed to curb red ink because the administration is counting on robust economic growth of at least 3 percent a year.

How Trump's Imagined Tax Cut Could Work
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 84

President Donald Trump wants another tax cut for the middle class, a proposal administration officials and members of Congress are now scrambling to make happen. CQ budget and appropriations editor Peter Cohn explains the options available and their consequences.

 

What’s That Sound? The Monster in the Budget
No one wants to address it, but rising health care costs are draining federal revenues and pumping up deficits

For all the talk about health care this election season, politicians of both parties are ignoring a giant sucking sound.

The cost of health care continues to soar, vacuuming up a growing share of the nation’s economic output and putting an ever-larger strain on both family incomes and government budgets. Since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965, the federal commitment to health care spending has grown from about 3 cents of every taxpayer dollar to nearly 34 cents, not counting interest payments on U.S. debt. And that share is set to keep rising in the coming years as the population ages.

Trump’s Tax Cut Gambit Gets Heads Scratching
Analysts remain skeptical new cuts are coming anytime soon

President Donald Trump’s election-season promise of a new 10 percent tax cut for the middle class raised a host of questions about its design, cost and effectiveness.

With details of the surprise initiative still a mystery, analysts could only guess at the types of tax breaks the president may be considering. The only clues so far are that the package would be geared narrowly to the middle class, and go beyond a House-passed bill that would make permanent the temporary tax cuts for individuals enacted last year.

Analysis: Here’s Why Trump’s Budget Proposal May Cut Deeper Than Advertised
Even cutting 5 percent would be a tough sell in Congress for either party

President Donald Trump’s new push to trim the proposed budgets of all federal agencies next year could prove more draconian than it sounds, amounting to a 25 percent cut for all nondefense programs compared to the current year.

Technically, the request is for 5 percent cuts across the Cabinet departments, as Trump laid out at a White House event Wednesday: “We’re going to ask every [Cabinet] secretary to cut 5 percent for next year,” Trump told reporters, presumably referring to fiscal 2020, beginning next October.

Fiscal 2018 Deficit Clocks In at $779 Billion, White House Reports
Largest hole in six years, executive branch finds

The federal government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the largest budget shortfall in six years, the White House reported Monday.

The official deficit tally for fiscal 2018 marked a $113 billion increase from the previous year and accounted for 3.9 percent of gross domestic product, an increase of 0.4 percentage points. The report confirms the third consecutive fiscal year of rising deficits despite a strong economy. 

Behind the Interest Rate Increases
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 82

Stock market losses and interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve may be making some people jittery especially President Donald Trump. But none of it is abnormal, explains CQ's numbers guru, budget and appropriations editor Peter Cohn. ...
Border Wall Funding Battle Could Dominate Lame Duck
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 80

It's not all 12 as they had hoped, but lawmakers did get five big spending bills signed into law, leaving seven others for the lame-duck session. The president's insistence for border wall funding could take center stage, says CQ appropriations reporter Jennifer Shutt.

Republicans Likely in for a Messy December Funding, Leadership Fight

Fiscal Year Ends With Unclear Path for Government Funding
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 79

With three spending bills signed into law, Congress is unlikely to pass all nine outstanding bills before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, says CQ appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich. Meantime, President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals on whether he would sign an $855 billion spending package the House plans to adopt this week, and talks on another four-bill package remain mired in policy fights. ...
Spending Splurge
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 78

House and Senate lawmakers made a deal to give the Pentagon a huge spending boost and defy President Donald Trump's call to cut various health, education and labor programs. CQ Defense reporter John M. Donnelly and Health reporter Andrew Siddons unpack the mammoth spending package now making its way through Congress.

Show Notes:

Trump Wants to Freeze It. But Federal Pay Isn’t Driving Deficits
‘There’s a misconception that federal employees are all affluent,’ one advocate says

Federal worker compensation, repeatedly used as a piggy bank to fund other priorities earlier this decade, is once again in budget cutters’ crosshairs. The latest catalyst is President Donald Trump’s desire to shrink costs associated with the “administrative state,” both by freezing civil workers’ pay next year and making them contribute more to their pensions.

The pay freeze issue is coming to a head as soon as this month, when Congress decides whether to incorporate Trump’s proposal or allow a 1.9 percent boost to federal worker pay next year, as contained in a bipartisan Senate spending package approved on a 92-6 vote last month.

Spending Milestone Within Reach
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 77

Congress is racing to pass at least three spending bills as early as this week and is poised to make progress on others, says CQ Budget Tracker editor David Lerman. Time, however, is running out.

 Show Notes:

Hurdles to Passing Spending Bills
CQ Budget, Episode 76

House and Senate leaders like to brag about their respective chambers' progress on passing spending bills but not one has won final passage, CQ budget and appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich says. She unpacks the reasons behind the bottleneck that now includes a new hurdle:President Trump's freeze on federal workers' wages.

Show Notes:

Senators Rebuke Trump on Education Funding: Podcast
CQ Budget, Episode 74

The Senate takes up a spending package this week that rejects White House attempts to cut school funding by about 11 percent next year. CQ’s Kellie Mejdrich explains the conflict over education priorities between Congress and the White House and which side is likely to prevail. ...
Spending Bonanza Heads to Senate Floor: Podcast
CQ Budget, Episode 73

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Speeding Through Spending Bills
CQ Budget, Episode 72

Podcast: Senate Set to Surpass House
CQ Budget, Episode 71

Senate lawmakers will try this week to outdo their House colleagues by passing a four-bill spending package —if they can overcome snags, says CQ appropriations reporter Jennifer Shutt. ...
Podcast: Wall Funding That Isn’t Coming From Mexico
CQ Budget, Episode 70

House appropriators are set to give President Donald Trump some of the border wall funding he's been seeking, says CQ immigration reporter Dean DeChiaro. He explains what's in the Homeland Security spending bill.

Pension Plan Rescue Legislation Getting Tough to Price
Congressional Budget Office walking back previous estimates of cost

An effort to shore up troubled pension plans for many middle-class workers comes with a squishy price tag.

A bill (S 2147) by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, would create a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Treasury Department that could make loans to multiemployer pension plans for union workers. Those plans have been estimated to be underfunded by about $65 billion, endangering the retirements of about 1.5 million residents nationwide.

Podcast: New Costs for Veterans Health Slow Spending Bill Progress
CQ Budget, Episode 69

CQ budget reporter Kellie Mejdrich breaks down why Senate appropriators face stiff opposition from the House and White House over how to pay for a private health care program for veterans....