|By PR Newswire||
|April 1, 2014 06:47 PM EDT||
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Concord Coalition today welcomed the budget proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan but expressed concern that it does not represent a realistic blueprint for making progress on a fiscal sustainability plan.
"It is the statutory duty of the House and Senate Budget Committees to produce a budget," said Robert L. Bixby, Concord's executive director. "Chairman Ryan thus deserves credit for following 'regular order' by proposing a budget in an election year when some may argue that it would be more convenient to remain silent."
Bixby added: "Ryan has laid out an ambitious but positive goal to achieve budget balance within 10 years. However, like the President's budget, Ryan's proposal is best viewed as a statement of party principle with little chance of moving the fiscal debate forward, much less of being enacted."
Given the size and nature of the structural problems in the budget, the goal of eliminating deficits within a decade sets up some very difficult policy choices. A renewed focus on open-minded budget negotiations -- using policy levers that affect both revenues and spending -- would offer a better chance to enact reforms with a positive fiscal outcome.
The Ryan budget achieves its deficit reduction by cutting over $5 trillion from spending programs. It proposes no revenue increases. The savings would come from repealing the insurance expansion in the Affordable Care Act (40 percent of savings); Medicaid and other health savings (14 percent); reductions in "other mandatory" programs such as food assistance (19 percent); discretionary spending reductions below the current caps (9 percent); Medicare reductions and shifting to premium support (3 percent), and interest savings (15 percent).
The discretionary spending assumption allows defense to exceed the current caps but achieves overall discretionary savings by cutting non-defense spending below the caps. Non-defense discretionary spending would fall to 2.2 percent of GDP by 2024 -- nearly half the amount spent in 2011, when spending caps were first agreed to, and 20 percent less than in 2014. Over the past 40 years, such spending has averaged 3.8 percent of GDP.
One caution in depending on such low spending is that the recent bipartisan budget agreement actually added back some non-defense spending because the 2014 levels were too low to pass appropriations bills through Congress.
"Sticking with the defense caps will be hard enough, even with the increase proposed by Chairman Ryan," Bixby said. "But taking non-defense spending down to the level assumed in this budget is not at all realistic and would greatly reduce the government's ability to make legitimate domestic investments in transportation, education, homeland security and basic research."
Concord also questioned some of the budget's mandatory spending assumptions.
For example, in a glaring inconsistency, Ryan specifically criticizes the President for abandoning a proposal to switch the government's inflation measure to the more accurate "Chained CPI" -- yet the chairman's plan itself fails to adopt that proposal.
One encouraging point, however, is Ryan's opposition to using Social Security's Old Age and Survivors Insurance funds for the Disability Insurance program, which expects to run out of money in 2016. Instead, Ryan calls for a comprehensive fix for Social Security, which should be a top priority for the next Congress.
Achieving the health care savings in the budget is likely to be hamstrung by political rhetoric.
"The Medicare savings included in Ryan's budget -- such as those from the current-law reductions in Medicare Advantage plans and the shift to a Medicare premium support system -- are valid and achievable," said Joshua Gordon, Concord's policy director. "However, fully realizing them will require a break from the current rhetorical stance of many in both parties against the Medicare Advantage financing trajectory and the narrow provider networks and private insurance regulations in the ACA insurance exchanges, without which budgetary savings from premium support would be unlikely."
"Furthermore, the Ryan budget draws large savings from reductions in Medicaid, but it is difficult to see how such cuts won't exacerbate the Medicaid problems of access and low provider reimbursement referenced in the budget's review of the program," said Gordon.
The proposed budget supports base-broadening tax reform bit does not embrace any particular proposal, including the comprehensive plan that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp recently released. Ryan points to the Camp plan's scored economic growth but does not embrace its policy choices.
As the Camp plan revealed, however, difficult choices are required to broaden the tax base, lower rates, and remain revenue neutral. Camp was not able to do all this and stick with just the two tax rates of 25 and 10 percent that are recommended in the Ryan budget.
A small but growing portion of the assumed savings in Ryan's budget comes from an estimate of its macroeconomic feedback, often referred to as "dynamic scoring." In a departure from the usual practice, Ryan includes a specific macroeconomic score for each year that is then factored into the estimated deficit.
According to this score, the macroeconomic impact in the first three years of the budget would be to add $76 billion to the deficit. From 2018 through 2024, however, the impact would be to reduce the deficit by $251 billion, for a net deficit reduction over 10 years of $175 billion.
The Concord Coalition does not favor this approach in scoring budget resolutions because it introduces even more uncertainty into the projections. It is one thing to give an illustrative estimate of the effects that a particular path of deficit reduction may have on the economy, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done at Ryan's request. But it is quite another to count that as a year-by-year score.
This is particularly true when specific policy details are absent, as they are in a congressional budget resolution. One set of policy details could have a much different feedback effect than another.
As the budget office cautioned in releasing its economic assessment of the deficit-reduction path in Ryan's budget: "The projections do not represent a cost estimate for legislation or an analysis of the effects of any specific policies….CBO has not considered whether the specified paths are consistent with the policy proposals or budget numbers that Chairman Ryan released on April 1, 2014 as part of his proposed budget resolution."
A copy of this release can be found on our website at: http://concordcoalition.org/press-releases/2014/0401/concord-coalition-welcomes-ryan-budget-proposal-expresses-doubts-details
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC
SOURCE The Concord Coalition
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 13, 2016 03:45 AM EST Reads: 241
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
Feb. 13, 2016 03:00 AM EST Reads: 462
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
Feb. 13, 2016 02:30 AM EST Reads: 368
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
Feb. 13, 2016 02:30 AM EST Reads: 368
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
Feb. 13, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 273
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Feb. 12, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 245
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
Feb. 12, 2016 09:45 PM EST Reads: 386
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Feb. 12, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 135
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Feb. 12, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 404
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
Feb. 12, 2016 06:00 PM EST
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee...
Feb. 12, 2016 04:45 PM EST
DevOps is not just last year’s buzzword. Companies with DevOps practices are 2.5x more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals. But how do you enable high performance? What can you do right now to start? Find out from DevOps experts including Gene Kim, co-author of "The Phoenix Project," and the Dynatrace Center of Excellence.
Feb. 12, 2016 04:30 PM EST
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
Feb. 12, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 192
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principal...
Feb. 12, 2016 04:15 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 12, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 432