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Fiscal Policy

The Sidebar: Over the Cliff and Hitting Your Limit

January 4, 2013
Marc Goldwein explains how Congress brokered the fiscal cliff deal, and warned of rocky terrain still ahead as legislators tackle across-the-board spending cuts and the debt ceiling. Danielle Kehl discusses the real reason that broadband providers implement data caps, and why anyone with a mobile device should care. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Social Contract Budgeting: Prescriptions from Economics and History

  • By Peter Lindert, University of California - Davis
December 17, 2012

If there is to be any durable hope for a social contract that transcends left-right partisanship, that contract must rest upon a majority consensus about policies that are efficient, fair, and sustainable. Once the smoke has cleared from this November’s battle over the role of government, what will endure are several policy prescriptions kept alive by an objective reading of economic history and a general consensus among economists.

We’re Going To Fall Off a Cliff!!!!

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
December 10, 2012 |
Have you stocked up on extra food and water?  Have a flashlight and plenty of spare batteries? The Fiscal Cliff is nigh, and much of Washington is fearfully counting down the days.
With all the hype, and the Wile E. Coyote-evoking image of the cliff, it’s hard to remember that the potential year-end hit to the economy is not an act of nature or something forced on the United States by cruel outsiders. The Fiscal Cliff is instead a crisis manufactured by a divided Congress that doesn’t trust itself to do the right thing in the absence of a crisis.

Kludgeocracy: The American Way of Policy

  • By Steven M. Teles, Johns Hopkins University
December 10, 2012

The last thirty years of American history have witnessed, at least rhetorically, a battle over the size of government. Yet that is not what the history books will say the next thirty years of American politics were about. With the frontiers of the state roughly fixed, the issues that will dominate American politics going forward will concern the complexity of government, rather than its sheer size.

Tax Reform That Works: Building a Solid Fiscal Foundation with a VAT

  • By Bruce Bartlett, Author, The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform -- Why We Need It and What It Will Take
November 29, 2012

Tax reform is like the weather – everyone talks about it, but no one ever does anything about it. But unlike inclement weather, the problems of the tax system don’t go away; they continue to fester and compound. Today there are a number of unpleasant trends in the federal tax system that are crying out for attention:

Debt, Deficits, and Demographics

  • By Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research
November 19, 2012

For much of the last three decades, policy debates in the United States have been dominated by a quixotic concern about deficits, debt, and demographics. This concern has distracted policy from fundamental economic issues that have much more direct bearing on economic well-being, most notably the growth (and bursting) of the housing bubble in the last decade. While large deficits can have a negative impact on economic growth, this impact has been hugely misrepresented in public debates.

Answer Me This...

October 25, 2012

With the last of the three debates completed and the presidential election just around the corner, the New America Foundation has pulled together this video with people from our various policy teams to ask the candidates a few final questions about how they plan to govern. Check us out, tell us what you think, and if you seeeither candidate answering any of the questions, let us know--tweet to us at @NewHealthDialog and @NewAmerica!

ALC 2012: The Impact of the Great Recession on Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color

October 2, 2012
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Though the Assets Learning Conference is now more than a week past, one session that has stuck with me dealt with The Great Recession and its Impact on Wealth in Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color. Through deftly interwoven presentations from the Urban Institute, Woodstock Institute, and Ohio State University (moderated by the U.S.

Highway Robbery

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
August 22, 2012 |

In August 2003, some colleagues and I were held up by armed bandits on the highway in Fallujah, Iraq. (Don't ask why I was dumb enough to be wandering around Fallujah.) My bandit -- there were quite a few of them, but I like to think of the guy who stuck a gun in my face as my bandit -- was straight out of central casting, complete with a red kerchief around his mouth and nose to disguise his facial features.

Room For Debate: "Is the Deficit Urgent, or a Distraction?"

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
August 30, 2012 |

The federal debt is the nation’s most pressing economic problem because our dangerously high debt levels are a threat on every issue — be it jobs, growth, competitiveness or public under-investment. The deficit is already harming the economy, and could eventually lead to a devastating fiscal crisis.

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