John Cranford of Congressional Quarterly writes that increases to the ceiling on federal debt have become highly partisan affairs. If Republicans are united in their intent to use the debt limit to demand tough spending constraints, then brinkmanship, not compromise, may be the driving force behind this year's Congressional vote.
Due to an increasing U.S. Federal government deficit many groups now argue for the institution of a national value-added tax (VAT) to increase government revenue. James M. Bickley of the Congressional Research Service examines the plausibility of enacting such a plan.
Potential political gridlock over raising the country's debt ceiling could threaten to delay progress on reducing the country's debt and rattle international confidence in the U.S. economy, experts say.
In the Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria criticises the latest tax compromise for lacking a balanced, long-term solution to skyrocketing deficits, deriding the current trend towards 'mañana economics', and compares it to China's investment in sustainable growth.
In this report, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press explains that there is public consensus on federal budget issues in principle, but resistance along partisan lines when plans are put into practice.
The presidential commission on reducing the U.S. deficit fell short of the vote needed to advance to Congress, but analysts said it indicated some bipartisan backing for crucial cuts that would address the country's threatening debt picture.
Cutting the federal deficit is seen as essential for reviving the country's economic standing. CFR's Peter Orszag looks at some of the pros and cons of recommendations by a presidential commission's co-chairs to cut more than $3.8 trillion from national deficits.
Published in Spiegel, this interview with German Finance Minister Schäuble provides insight into the relationship between Minister Schäuble and his American counterpart, Secretary Geithner, as well as the German position on the latest financial developments like the recent move towards quantitative easing.
With U.S. unemployment and high debt threatening Americans at home and U.S. power abroad, this Backgrounder looks at congressional candidates' difficulty in articulating policies that balance job creation and debt reduction.
This second installment of the Capital Flows Quarterly series investigates two factors that could substantially alter the long-run value of the U.S. dollar: the dollar's reserve status and the sustainability of U.S. international debt.
In the face of a weak job market in the near term and an unsustainable budget deficit over the longer term, Peter Orszag argues that we should extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years and then end them altogether.
Benn Steil's article in the Spring/Summer edition of the CATO Journal argues that restraining excessive debt accumulation will require significant changes in the U.S. corporate taxation regime and the principles underlying the conduct of U.S. monetary policy.
Authors: Benn Steil and Paul Swartz Financial News
Benn Steil's June column in Dow Jones' Financial News, co-authored with Paul Swartz, shows how mass Russian and Chinese selling of Fannie and Freddie debt in 2008 severely exacerbated the financial crisis. Contrary to the arguments of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and others, they show that there are very real dangers inherent in America's outsized reliance on foreign government financing.
The dollar's status as the world's reserve currency has become a facet of U.S. power, allowing the United States to borrow effortlessly and sustain an assertive foreign policy. But the capital inflows associated with the dollar's reserve-currency status have created a vulnerability, too, opening the door to a foreign sell-off of U.S. securities that could drive up U.S. interest rates. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Capital Flows Quarterly, Francis E. Warnock argues that a sell-off came close to happening in 2009. How the United States uses this reprieve will affect the nation's ability to borrow for years to come, with broad implications for the sustainability of an active U.S. foreign policy.
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