Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Media Coverage

May 23, 2017|The Washington Post

Even some Republicans balk at Trump’s plan for steep budget cuts

Budget experts questioned many of the economic assumptions that the White House put into its plan, saying it was preposterous to claim that massive tax cuts and spending reductions will lead to a surge in economic growth. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, for example, said that using normal economic projections, the White House’s proposal would not eliminate the deficit and would allow U.S. debt to continue growing into the next decade.

“Rather than making unrealistic assumptions, the president must make the hard tax and spending choices needed to truly bring the national debt under control,” it said.

May 23, 2017|The New York Times

Trump’s Problematic Math: Budget Plan Adds Growth, but Doesn’t Subtract Cost

“The same money cannot be used twice,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in a statement criticizing the administration’s math.

The budget office insisted in an email that the $2.1 trillion was in addition to the revenue necessary to offset the cost of the tax cuts. The administration, in other words, said that it had previously underestimated the benefits of its own plans.

But Marc Goldwein, a senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the budget itself showed that this could not be true.

May 22, 2017|The Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump’s Balanced Budget Goal Rests on Questionable Math

“The same money cannot be used twice,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that advocates for lower deficits.

Jun 20, 2017|CQ

GOP Eyes Longer Budgets to Boost Case for Tax Cuts

Ed Lorenzen, senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said a longer budget window would require annual revenue and spending estimates to cover more years, and predicted the "complication of implementing it" would be unpopular with some lawmakers on the congressional Budget committees.

Jun 20, 2017|The Associated Press

The GOP's budget deadlock could derail Trump's hopes for tax overhaul

"They're afraid either the committees couldn't come up with the amount of savings that they're required or people wouldn't be willing to vote for them," said Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocated lower deficits. "And if either of those things happened, it would jeopardize the entire reconciliation bill, including tax reform."

Jun 20, 2017|Financial Times

Paul Ryan pushes ‘transformational’ tax overhaul

White House officials have said their goal is also permanent reform, but after the Trump administration unveiled a skimpy one page tax blueprint in April, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that over a 10-year period the proposals would lead to a loss of anywhere from $3tn to $7tn.

Jun 19, 2017|MarketWatch

Here’s how the U.S. got to $20 trillion in debt

Originally scored at $787 billion, the Congressional Budget Office in 2015 put its price tag higher, at $836 billion. Including interest payments, it added $1 trillion to the debt through fiscal 2016, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Jun 15, 2017|The Hill

Centrist Dems seek input on tax reform from K Street

The group is also planning to meet with policy experts later this month, including Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas and former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf, the coalition official said.

Jun 15, 2017|The Fiscal Times

Republicans Are Getting Serious About a Plan to Extend Major Tax Cuts

Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the plan sounded to him like a ruse meant to pass an extended tax cut by manipulating the Senate’s rules.

“If the purpose of extending the budget window is so that you can manipulate the Byrd rule and make it so that you have a ‘temporary’ tax cut or ‘temporary’ deficit spending that goes for 19 years before it expires, that’s just ridiculous,” he said. “It’s a pure gimmick and there’s no basis for that except to circumvent important senate rules.”

Jun 15, 2017|Newsmax

What to Look for in the Forthcoming 2017 Social Security Trustees Report

The Social Security Administration believes that about half of the people turning 69 this year will live long enough to be affected. Based on U.S. census figures, that means that more than 80 percent of voting aged Americans will be affected by these changes.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget provides a tool that will tell you at what age you will be when the exhaustion of the Trust Fund arrives with consequences.

Jun 13, 2017|The Fiscal Times

How Republicans Could Make a ‘Temporary’ Tax Cut Last for 20 Years

“If the purpose of extending the budget window is because you have a tax plan or spending plan that’s effects really start to appear outside the 10 years, I’m very sympathetic to it,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“But if the purpose of extending the budget window is so that you can manipulate the Byrd rule and make it so that you have a ‘temporary’ tax cut or ‘temporary’ deficit spending that goes for 19 years before it expires, that’s just ridiculous. It’s a pure gimmick and there’s no basis for that except to circumvent important senate rules.”

It’s an open question as to which category any eventual tax reform proposal that clears the Senate will fall into, but Goldwein said that in his view, the tax proposals being floated right now are more likely in the latter category.

Jun 9, 2017|The Fiscal Times

How the Trump Budget Reforms Social Security Disability Insurance

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a spending watchdog group that frequently has criticized Trump’s budget and tax cut proposals, has hailed Trump’s proposals for reforming the SSDI system that would “meaningfully improve its solvency.”

“While the estimated savings are likely too high, the approach put forward by the administration is a sensible one” and is consistent with some ideas previously advanced by CRFB.

Jun 8, 2017|The Fiscal Times

Brownback’s Rebuff Over Kansas Tax Cuts Is a Cautionary Tale for Trump

Although the administration so far has provided only a one-page summary of its tax reform plan that mirrors many of Trump’s campaign promises, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget prepared a cost estimate of the president’s  latest ideas and concluded they could result in $5.5 trillion of lost revenue during the first decade.

The spending watchdog group warned that Trump’s tax plan if implemented could push the gross national debt to 111 percent of GDP by 2027, higher than any time in U.S. history.

Jun 7, 2017|The New York Times

Debt Ceiling Is Again a Battleground, This Time with Republicans in Charge

“It’s going to complicate the ability to pass a budget, and it’s going to complicate tax reform because of the internal tensions that they have to struggle with,” said Ed Lorenzen, senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan group.

Jun 7, 2017|NPR

"Planet Money" Episode 776: Here We Grow Again

"3% growth is possible if absolutely everything goes right at the same time," said Marc Goldwein, a guest on NPR's Planet Money

Jun 5, 2017|Bloomberg

Obamacare Repeal's Latest Obstacle Involves Native Americans

Democrats argue that the Native American cost-sharing eligibility issue falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. If that’s so, the bill wouldn’t qualify for the streamlined procedure, which requires all policy changes to go through either the Senate Health or Finance committees, said Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser to the independent Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

"If the parliamentarian rules that repeal of Section 1402 implicates Indian Affairs Committee jurisdiction it would be a fatal violation," Lorenzen said, referring to the section of law containing the cost-sharing. That would require House action "to correct the problem," he said.

Jun 2, 2017|FactCheck.org

Video: Trump’s Budget Double Count

“The same money cannot be used twice,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

May 31, 2017|The Hill

Congress faces tough road to balanced budget

“I think it’s going to be really hard, and it should look hard because balancing the budget is hard. The Trump budget makes it look easy because they do it by stacking the deck,” said Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President of the Committee for Responsible Budget.

Trump’s budget was criticized for relying on several gimmicks and a dose of fuzzy math to eliminate the deficit, including significantly higher economic growth projections than most experts think are feasible and double-counting the budgetary effects of the growth. 

Goldwein explained that the difference between Trump's proposal and Congress's proposal is that the latter is actually constraining for the rest of the year.

May 30, 2017|The Daily Signal

Cut or ‘Clean’: Trump, Congress Negotiate on How to Raise the Debt Ceiling

Raising the debt ceiling should include budget savings, but shouldn’t mean threatening to default on paying the nation’s bills, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group.

“There should not be talk of allowing the country to default. That’s not a credible threat nor a legitimate strategy,” MacGuineas told The Daily Signal. “But, it does make sense to include savings and debt reduction as part of any package to increase the debt ceiling.”

May 28, 2017|Fox News

Jessica Tarlov: Trump's no good very bad budget

Everyone knows you can’t have it both ways.

And Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, especially knows. “You can’t use the same money twice,” he said of the budget. Larry Summers, President Obama’s former adviser and Clinton Treasury Secretary, added that this is an “elementary” but “egregious accounting error.”

May 26, 2017|The Daily Caller

Trump’s Economic Forecasts Aggressively Optimistic, But Do They Add Up?

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget finds that the administration’s goal of 3 percent growth will be “very difficult to achieve” and that the “president’s proposals would not meet his fiscal goal in reality.”

May 25, 2017|BBC

Will Trump bring paid maternity leave to the US?

"It's technically not the federal government raising taxes, maybe that's easier to swallow," says Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

May 25, 2017|Washington Examiner

Trump tax plan won't cut revenue, Mulvaney says

To this point, the administration has submitted a one-page outline of tax reform goals. That framework, however, likely would lose $3 trillion to $7 trillion in revenue over 10 years, according to a rough estimate from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

May 24, 2017|CBS News

What is the "tax gap" the White House wants to shrink?

The Obama administration made attempts to close the gap by stepping up enforcement, but probably only reduced it by $50 billion to $100 billion over a decade, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

May 24, 2017|The Independent

Low-income Trump voters to be overwhelmingly hit by President's proposed budget cuts

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan policy organisation, said the full budget plan relied on gimmicks, unrealistic cuts and “rosy assumptions” of economic growth that would reach 3 per cent annually by the end of Mr Trump's first term.

May 24, 2017|Salon

The double count: Trump budget includes $2 trillion accounting gimmick

Economists interviewed by the Los Angeles Times seem to agree that Trump’s figures are absurd. A senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget named told the Times that “you can’t use the same money twice.”

May 24, 2017|The Hill

What to watch for in new healthcare score

It is “very possible” the House-passed bill doesn’t do so under the jurisdiction of the Senate Health Committee, Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, wrote in an email.

He said it’s his understanding that the Senate parliamentarian — who is the ultimate decider on whether the bill meets the guidelines governing reconciliation — hasn’t made a final decision on which jurisdiction the various provisions of the American Health Care Act fit in.

May 24, 2017|Vox

I read Trump's budget with an expert. His take: it's based on phony assumptions.

I reached out to Marc Goldwein, the senior vice president and senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The CRFB is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group and an objective resource for policymakers on both sides of the aisle. Goldwein’s focus is on the federal budget, and he works regularly with members of Congress on budget-related issues.

He was kind (and patient) enough to walk through these pillars with me, one by one. I wanted to know if the specific plans outlined in the text align with the commitments Trump is making in this proposal.

May 24, 2017|NBC News

Trump Team Stands by Budget’s $2 Trillion Math Error

"Using the revenue from feedback from economic growth toward deficit reduction," wrote the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, "is inconsistent with recent statements that economic growth would be used to help finance tax reform."

May 24, 2017|Bloomberg BNA

Trump Budget Plan Gets Chilly Reception on Capitol Hill

“The budget balances on paper—and having a specific fiscal goal—is an important first step. But it only achieves that goal by relying on incredibly rosy economic growth assumptions along with very aggressive and unrealistic future cuts, while omitting a potentially extremely costly tax reform plan,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

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