Source: CRS In Focus, November 19, 2018
The condition and performance of infrastructure are generally thought to be important for the nation’s health, welfare, and economy. More contentious are the optimal level of infrastructure investment, the effectiveness of this investment, and the appropriate role of the federal government. The current federal role in infrastructure investment is important but limited in size and scope.
Source: Congressional Budget Office, August 8, 2018
From the summary:
Each year, CBO publishes extended baseline projections—a set of budget projections that incorporate the assumption that current laws generally remain unchanged, extending the agency’s 10-year baseline projections beyond the coming decade. In CBO’s most recent extended baseline, revenues grow more rapidly than gross domestic product (GDP), rising to levels well above their historical average, because recently enacted tax changes are scheduled to expire and because of the structure of the tax system. In addition, discretionary spending falls substantially in relation to the size of the economy. Nevertheless, federal debt held by the public rises from an amount equal to 78 percent of GDP in 2018 to 118 percent of GDP in 2038. This report expands on CBO’s extended baseline projections by showing how the federal budget and the nation’s economy would evolve under three alternative scenarios. In those scenarios, laws would be changed to continue certain policies now in place, leading to even higher debt.
Source: Steve Wamhoff, Matthew Gardner, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Analysis, July 2018
From the introduction:
Since 2000, tax cuts have reduced federal revenue by trillions of dollars and disproportionately benefited well-off households. From 2001 through 2018, significant federal tax changes have reduced revenue by $5.1 trillion, with nearly two-thirds of that flowing to the richest fifth of Americans, as illustrated in Figure 1.
The cumulative impact on the deficit during this period is $5.9 trillion, including interest payments. By the end of 2025, the tally of tax cuts will grow to $10.6 trillion. Nearly $2 trillion of this amount will have gone to the richest 1 percent. By then, the total impact on the deficit will be $13.6 trillion, including interest payments.
This analysis does not include hundreds of billions of dollars in so-called tax cut “extenders” for corporations and other businesses that Congress has periodically enacted under each administration. More detailed figures are provided in the tables in Appendix I…..
Data Available for Download
Source: Grant A. Driessen, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R45202, May 21, 2018
The federal budget is a central component of the congressional “power of the purse.” Each fiscal year, Congress and the President engage in a number of activities that influence short- and long-run revenue and expenditure trends. This report offers context for the current budget debate and tracks legislative events related to the federal budget. …. Trends resulting from current federal fiscal policies are generally thought by economists to be unsustainable in the long term. Projections suggest that achieving a sustainable long-term trajectory for the federal budget would require deficit reduction. Reductions in deficits could be accomplished through revenue increases, spending reductions, or some combination of the two. ….
Source: Dmitriy Plit, Florence Zeman, Moody’s, Sector Comment, Public housing authorities – US, April 4, 2018
The recently enacted federal omnibus spending bill appropriates $2.75 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, a substantial increase over the $1.94 billion for federal fiscal year 2017.
Source: Marcia Van Wagner, Coley J Anderson, Rachel Cortez, Baye Larsen, Timothy Blake, Alexandra S. Parker, Moody’s, Sector In-Depth, March 30, 2018
US states, local governments and transit authorities’ funding constraints add a layer of difficulty to the Trump administration’s infrastructure plan. The proposal relies on municipalities’ ability to increase leverage, identify new revenue streams and attract private sector partners.
Source: Sue Halpern, The Nation, March 19-26, 2018
No wonder the Trump administration is gunning for them.
Among the disappeared in Donald Trump’s fiscal-year 2018 budget was something most of us didn’t notice at first: the dissolution of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Take that away and virtually all federal support for public libraries disappears. While the institute doesn’t represent a massive amount of money—by one accounting, its $230 million was 0.006 percent of the federal budget in 2016—it has been crucial for sustaining libraries, especially those in struggling urban neighborhoods and rural areas…..
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Fact Sheet, February 2018
From the summary:
Health centers play an important role in our health care system, providing comprehensive primary care services as well as dental, mental health, and addiction treatment services to over 25 million patients in medically underserved rural and urban areas throughout the country. Health care anchors in their communities and on the front lines of health care crises, including the opioid epidemic and the current flu outbreak, health centers rely on federal grant funds to support the care they provide, particularly to patients who lack insurance coverage. However, the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), a key source of funding for community health centers, expired on September 30, 2017, and has since been extended through only March 31, 2018. The CHCF provides 70% of grant funding to health centers. With these funds at risk, health centers have taken or are considering taking a number of actions that will affect their capacity to provide care to their patients. This fact sheet presents preliminary findings on how health centers are responding to the funding uncertainty.
Source: Robert S. Kirk, William J. Mallett, Congressional Research Service, R44674, CRS Report, January 11, 2018
Almost every conversation about surface transportation finance begins with a two-part question: What are the “needs” of the national transportation system, and how does the nation pay for them? This report is aimed almost entirely at discussing the “how to pay for them” question. Since 1956, federal surface transportation programs have been funded largely by taxes on motor fuels that flow into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). A steady increase in the revenues flowing into the HTF due to increased motor vehicle use and occasional increases in fuel tax rates accommodated growth in surface transportation spending over several decades. In 2001, though, trust fund revenues stopped growing faster than spending. In 2008 Congress began providing Treasury general fund transfers to keep the HTF solvent….
Source: Bernard Yaros, Regional Financial Review, November 2017
Which U.S. regions would benefit the most from the Trump administration’s spending objectives? This article focuses on the regional impact of shifts in defense spending, veterans benefits, and border security expenditures.