|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
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Dec. 26, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 2,311
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 26, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 1,935
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
Dec. 26, 2014 05:00 AM EST Reads: 1,848
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Dec. 26, 2014 05:00 AM EST Reads: 1,771
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
Dec. 26, 2014 04:15 AM EST Reads: 2,664
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
Dec. 26, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,730
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Dec. 26, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,974
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 26, 2014 02:45 AM EST Reads: 2,115
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Dec. 26, 2014 01:45 AM EST Reads: 1,596
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
Dec. 26, 2014 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,425
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 26, 2014 12:00 AM EST Reads: 2,830
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
Dec. 25, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,791
This builds on Puppet Labs' first class Windows support, including native .MSI packages for x32 and x64 operating systems, modules to extend common Windows server management tools, including Powershell, and integrations with Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio. By automating common Windows administration tasks, Puppet Labs is enabling users to adopt DevOps practices, thereby reducing the time needed to deploy applications from weeks to hours.
Dec. 25, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,084
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Dec. 25, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,473
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Dec. 25, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,840