Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

"Public Square" Adds to the Fiscal Conversation

Apr 15, 2010 | Taxes

OurFiscalFuture.org has put together a blog carnival on fiscal policy called "Public Square." It brings together numerous experts on fiscal policy to discuss their views.  Included in Public Square are CRFB President Maya MacGuineas, Peterson-Pew Commission Project Director Steve Redburn, and CRFB board member Rudy Penner. A few of the more recent pieces there relate to our "Countdown to Tax Day" series, including one of our posts about extending the 2001/2003 tax cuts. 

Here are some notable quotes from Maya's, Steve's, and Rudy's posts:

Maya MacGuineas: "Given the widespread support for extending the tax cuts and the tendency to want to include “sweeteners” as parts of a budget deal, we should instead restructure the tax extension debate to be part of the solution rather than just digging the deficit hole deeper. One way to do this is to extend the Bush tax cuts for a short amount of time – say two years – with the explicit agreement that they will only be extended further and made permanent once a reasonable budget deal has been put in place."

Steve Redburn: "People construct metaphors as an antidote (note metaphor) for excessive complexity. But, these mental devices can oversimplify and distort as easily as enlighten. What is the right metaphor to fit the fiscal challenge we now face? Are we on a falling airliner, lost in a fiscal maze, or drowning in a sea of debt?

"None of these quite works, it seems; but we are a bit at sea. I find the shortest route to understanding the fiscal challenge is a nautical metaphor. If the federal government were a big ship it would be headed for the rocks. Its fiscal course is unsustainable. It must change course."

Rudy Penner and John Palmer:"If we take action soon, we still have a wide range of reasonable choices. All will require sacrifices — tax increases, future benefit levels lower than envisioned, or, more likely, both. If we wait too long, an economic crisis will be all but inevitable and the options far more painful."