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Federal Budgets and Fiscal Policy

 
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The $300 Billion Question: How Should We Budget for Federal Lending Programs? (Research Report)
Donald Marron

Student loans, mortgage guarantees, and other lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. Under official budget rules, these programs are projected to bring in $200 billion over the next decade. Under an alternative, favored by many analysts, they appear to lose $100 billion. That $300 billion disparity confuses policy deliberations. In this report, Donald Marron proposes a new budgeting approach, known as expected returns, that would eliminate this confusion. The report critically reviews today’s budgeting approaches, identifies their flaws, and demonstrates how expected returns would improve budgeting for federal lending.

Posted to Web: September 29, 2014Publication Date: September 29, 2014

A Better Way to Budget for Federal Lending Programs (Policy Briefs)
Donald Marron

Policy analysts have long debated how best to budget for student loans, mortgage guarantees, and other federal lending programs. Under official budget rules, these programs appear highly profitable; under an alternative, favored by many analysts, they appear to lose money. That discrepancy confuses policy deliberations. In this brief, Donald Marron proposes a new budgeting approach, known as expected returns, that would eliminate this confusion. Unlike existing approaches, expected returns accurately reports the fiscal effects of lending over time and provides a natural way to distinguish the fiscal gains from bearing financial risk from the subsidies given to borrowers.

Posted to Web: September 29, 2014Publication Date: September 29, 2014

Data Appendix to Kids' Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2013 (Data)
Ellen Steele, Julia Isaacs, Heather Hahn, Sara Edelstein, C. Eugene Steuerle

This appendix to Kids' Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2013 details the methodology used in our annual comprehensive analysis of trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children. It describes our selection of programs to include in our analysis, our data sources, and the methodology used to estimate the percentage of program expenditures that went to children.

Posted to Web: September 24, 2014Publication Date: September 24, 2014

Kids' Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013 (Research Report)
Heather Hahn, Julia Isaacs, Sara Edelstein, Ellen Steele, C. Eugene Steuerle

Kids’ Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013, an eighth annual report, looks comprehensively at federal spending and tax expenditures on children. Total federal expenditures on children were up from 2012, but below spending in 2010. Broader budgetary forces will continue to restrict spending on children over the next ten years, despite an overall projected growth of over $1.4 trillion in federal spending. Over the next decade, outlays on children are projected to decline from 10 to 8 percent of the federal budget.

Posted to Web: September 18, 2014Publication Date: September 18, 2014

When Budgeting Was Easier: Eisenhower and the 1960 Budget (Occasional Paper)
Rudolph G. Penner

The paper looks back to time when budgeting was easier and budget outcomes were superior. Although it is impossible to replicate the past exactly, there are characteristics of past budgets that might be emulated. The focus is on Eisenhower's battles to balance the 1960 budget. At the time, almost all spending was controlled by annual appropriations, and popular, rapidly growing entitlements for old people were very much less important. The president's budget was much more influential. Approaches to gaining more control over entitlements are explored as is the more difficult task of restoring the influence of the president's budget.

Posted to Web: July 11, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Analysis of Specific Tax Provisions in President Obama's FY2015 Budget (Research Report)
Elaine Maag, Jim Nunns, Eric Toder, Roberton Williams

This document reviews several notable tax proposals in President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 Budget. These include expanding the earned income tax credit (EITC) for workers without qualifying children, expanding the child and dependent care tax credit for families with young children, conforming rules for self-employment contributions act (SECA) taxes for professional service businesses, and changing business taxes to create a reserve to fund long-run revenue-neutral business tax reform.

Posted to Web: June 30, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Changes in Tax Revenue Since 1929 (Article/Tax Facts)
Lydia Austin , Roberton Williams

This Tax Fact examines sources of federal and state & local tax revenue, from 1929 to the present. The composition of revenues at all levels of government changed dramatically with World War II, but has remained roughly stable since. At the federal level, payroll taxes have grown dramatically, and individual income taxes remain a major source of revenue. At the state and local level, sales and property taxes account for about one-third of revenues.

Posted to Web: June 16, 2014Publication Date: June 16, 2014

Five Steps to Pay for Success: Implementing Pay for Success Projects in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems (Research Report)
John Roman, Kelly Walsh, Samuel Bieler, Samuel Taxy

This technical report provides an in-depth review of the PFS model, the state of the field, and the strategic planning and five-step process needed to execute high-performing projects. The report contextualizes the PFS framework within the model of existing state and federal legislation and notes key issues and obstacles that jurisdictions interested in pursuing the model will need to address.

Posted to Web: June 11, 2014Publication Date: June 11, 2014

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