Tags: Maya MacGuineas | Budget | C-SPAN | republicans

Maya MacGuineas on Budget Proposals

By    |   Tuesday, 24 March 2015 06:41 AM

After hearing from a progressive and a conservative the previous day, on March 23 C-SPAN’s Washington Journal heard from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a middle-of-the-road group that has been part of the debate over the ongoing, permanent budget mess for many years.

According to Wiki, the group was founded in 1981, which coincidentally the year this writer tried to sound the alarm over the threat posed by insolvent, Too Big to Fail financial institutions, the first year of the Reagan administration.
The name founders were Rep. Robert Giaimo, a liberal Democrat from Connecticut, and Sen. Henry Bellmon, a moderate Republican from Oklahoma who was so open to the blandishments of liberals that a colleague of this writer referred to him as “Senator Belle-Monde.”

Today’s leaders are three moderate ex-congressmen – William Frenzel, R.-Minn., Timothy Penny, I-Minn., a longtime Democrat, and Charles Stenholm, D-Tex. Ms. MacGuineas also serves as Director of the Fiscal Policy Program at the very progressive New America Foundation (NAF).
Other affiliations of Ms. MacGuineas include the Brookings Institution, the Concord Coalition, Common Cause, and having served as Social Security advisor to the presidential campaign of the moderate Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. Her husband Robin Brooks is a managing director and currency trading analyst at the Goldman Sachs. The flavor of search results is that cynics and critics think the anti-deficit lobbying serves to cover for Wall Street’s broader agenda.
The segment was hosted by Paul Orgel, who began by asking MacGuineas to explain where Congress currently stands in the budget process. She explained that both houses of Congress are slated to take up budget resolutions this week. After each body has passed its resolution, they will try to reconcile them. She observed that in recent years this has been impossible because the House and Senate were controlled by different parties.
MacGuineas concluded, as many pundits have, “This is one of the tests of whether they (the Republicans) can govern, can they come up with a budget, and I think that most people would say that the fact that this country hasn’t had a budget in so many past years has been kind of a sign of our failure to govern, but now that there’s one party, there’s a real test.”

She found the proposals “reasonably similar, so there’s a good chance that they can come to an agreement.”
Asked what she thinks of the administration’s budget, MacGuineas noted that the budget process starts with the release of the White House proposal, “but it’s not really incorporated into the rest of the process,” so that by now it is “all but forgotten.”

She described the administration’s priorities as “not really focused on fiscal constraints.”

Interestingly, she added that the administration neither tried to balance the budget or to bring the deficit’s growth down to the point that it would grow slower than the economy.

Instead, it focused on a number of new initiatives and incorporated expected savings in healthcare costs.

She sees the administration saying that the deficit problem has basically gone away for the time being, whereas the Republicans would bring the deficit down over 10 years using questionable assumptions.
(Archived video can be found here.)

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After hearing from a progressive and a conservative the previous day, on March 23 C-SPAN's Washington Journal heard from Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Maya MacGuineas, Budget, C-SPAN, republicans
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 06:41 AM
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