Congress Nibbles at Obama’s Budget

Now it’s Congress’ turn. Last week President Obama made his budget proposal, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill already have begun trying to bend it to their will. On April 18, in fact, the House Ways and Means Committee will take up one of the most controversial pages in the budget book: the proposal to change the way that benefits under Social Security and other federal programs are adjusted for inflation. The “chained consumer price index,” or chained CPI, would mean …

The 3 Budget Plans: How Do They Stack Up?

Now that President Obama has sent his 2014 budget proposal to Congress, three blueprints for the nation’s fiscal future are on the table. The other two are sharply divergent plans drafted by the lawmakers who chair the congressional budget committees: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The Republican-controlled House passed the Ryan budget on March 21; the Democratic-controlled Senate passed the Murray budget two days later. We surveyed news accounts and nonpartisan analyses to pull together the …

Obama’s Budget Aims to Expand the Estate Tax

Just a few months ago, President Obama and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill negotiated their way off the fiscal cliff and agreed to make the estate tax a mere shadow of its former self – so much so, according to estimates from the Tax Policy Center, that only 3,800 estates will owe any federal estate tax in 2013. President Obama’s new budget proposal, however, aims to turn things back around. It would raise the estate tax rate to 45 percent …

Why the Chained CPI is Wrong for Social Security

Yesterday, the President included Social Security cuts in his budget through a proposal called the “chained CPI”. Let’s take a minute and break down exactly what that means: The chained CPI would modify the way the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security is calculated, cutting benefits by $127 billion dollars over the next 10 years alone. That comes out to over $2000 in lost benefits for the average senior. Some have tried to defend this unprecedented inclusion of Social Security benefit …

What’s the Reaction to Obama’s Social Security Proposal?

We knew it was coming. Still, now here, it’s causing quite a stir. President Obama’s new budget proposes a change in the formula for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Many Democrats are saying they disagree with their president. Many Republicans are saying they like the idea and want it implemented quickly. And advocates for older Americans are saying, “No way.” The proposed change, called the chained CPI, is a twist on the consumer price index, the formula that helps Social Security, veterans …

9 Things to Look for in the President’s Budget

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives approved a budget proposal first. Then came a very different document from the Democratic-controlled Senate. Now thousands more pages of numbers will land with a thud on Capitol Hill on April 10. It’s the president’s annual budget proposal. Unless you’re an underemployed CPA or an incurable policy wonk, you probably won’t want to wade through all that. So here’s a short checklist of what you should watch for in the budget: A chained CPI. This twist on …